Plenty left to experience in Ohio this summer

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Ohio anglers and recreational boaters who frequent the walleye rich western basin of Lake Erie, a reef and structure rich section of the big lake, are just weeks away from what has become an annual summer plague, the onslaught of blue-green algae.

Algae blooms

Decades ago, algae blooms were the scourge of Lake Erie, producing sickening, green water, some so thick that passing boats would leave visible slices through a lake more like pea soup than healthy water. In more recent decades the quality of Lake Erie improved, partially because of programs which banned certain chemicals and practices that deterred algae growth. It is evident however, that the problem has returned. Blue-green algae blooms are the result of water contaminated with overloads of phosphorous that is leached and washed into the lake from fertilizers, farm practices, and sewage treatment facilities.

Dead zones

Late summer blooms can and do poison a lake, producing dead zones and other hazards. Blooms can kill wildlife and sicken humans. Smaller inland lakes have been totally closed for recreational use in recent years because of similar algae blooms. Severely limiting phosphorous run off seems to be the only way to reduce algae blooms and voluntary participation in new programs provide some hope that Lake Erie water quality might be able to recover.

The always active Leetonia Sportsman’s Association will sponsor a shooting event on July 20 with proceeds to benefit The Independence Fund, an volunteer organization devoted to providing wounded veterans opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities.

The Leetonia group is inviting shotgun shooters and all other sportsman clubs to join this effort to provide All Terrain Wheelchairs to sportsmen and women who have been denied access to their favorite sports and activities because of injuries incurred in military actions.

Learn more about the day’s planned shooting events and activities online at leetoniasportsmanclub.com or call Jim Eckman at 330-502-0447 or Bill Harding at 330-822-0100.

Application deadline

Deadline for applications for controlled fall hunts is July 31. It is a prized lottery and the odds of winning are far better than those in the state lottery. The basic rule of raffles, lotteries, and all draws is that you can’t win unless you play. Many hunters have tried for years to get a draw while many others seem to be on the winner’s list time and time again. So what’s new? There are several deer and waterfowl hunts on the list representing some very good opportunities to hunt unique sites.

Deer fanatics

For the real deer fanatic, know that deer harvested on controlled hunts are not counted as part of the state-wide limit of nine deer made up of animals killed in different counties. And too, special $15 antlerless permits are valid on controlled hunts even after they are deemed invalid beginning with the state-wide deer gun season.

How good are your approximate odds? Plumbrook gun hunt, 1:40; Camp Ravenna, 1:20; Mosquito waterfowl, 1:11; Mercer archery, 1:85. The chance to hunt the Transportation Research Center is the worst at nearly 1:100 and one of the best is the 1:4 odds for Mercer waterfowl. Applicants for a morning hunt on Mogadore Reservoir or Wingfoot Lake stand an approximate chance of 1:12.

Most controlled hunts allow selected hunters to bring a buddy and to give the hunt to a friend. Applicants must have a current hunting license.

About the Author

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian. More Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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