Outdoor briefs, July 15

SCPD, FELC offering volunteer naturalist certification

Seneca County Park District and Franciscan Earth Literacy Center are partnering to offer an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist course this fall.

At the end of the course, attendees would be certified volunteer naturalists through The Ohio State University Extension course. Classes are to take place 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays and 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays Sept. 11 through Nov. 3.

Students are to learn about the biology, ecology and natural history of Ohio from the state’s leading experts. They then become part of a local and statewide network of dedicated volunteers who apply their talents and passion to protecting, restoring and understanding Ohio’s natural treasures.

Requirements for certification include completing 40 hours of instruction and performing 40 hours of approved volunteer service within the first year. After the first year, 20 hours of volunteer service and eight hours of advanced training are required annually.

Course locations are to vary from week to week within Seneca County.

For information, visit www.felctiffin.org, or to receive an application, contact Sister Shirley Shafranek or Matt Miller (419) 448-7485.

The application deadline is Aug. 13. Spaces for 25 participants are to be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must ages 18 or older. Cost of registration is $200.

For general information about the OCVN program, contact Anne Baird, OCVN state program coordinator, Ohio State University Extension, (614) 292-8608 or baird.41@osu.edu.

Fishing rule changes sought to Ohio Wildlife Council

COLUMBUS — Changes to the 2019-20 fishing season were among the regulations proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council at a recent meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Several other changes were voted on which had previously been presented to the council. The changes were approved and become effective later this month.

Changes were made to black bass fishing regulations, which includes largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in the Lake Erie sport fishing district. Now, the season for black bass is closed from May 1 through the last Saturday in June. It was proposed to remove this closure to provide a year-round open season for black bass. Additional proposed rules would establish a daily bag limit of one black bass with an 18-inch minimum size limit from May 1 through the fourth Saturday in June to continue to protect the fishery. Outside of this period, the existing black bass regulations of a five-fish daily limit with a 14-inch minimum size limit still would apply.

Proposed changes for crappie fishing include crappie size and bag limits at certain waters. It was proposed that the 30-fish daily bag limit and the 9-inch minimum size limit for crappie be removed at the following lakes and reservoirs: Acton, Cledening, Hargus, Highlandtown, Knox, Madison, Nimisila, Rush Creek and Springfield lakes; C.J. Brown, Clear Fork, Griggs and West Branch reservoirs.

Additional proposed rule changes include allowing camping at K.H. Butler Wildlife Area in Gallia County, increasing the annual fee for watercraft docking permits at ODNR Division of Wildlife-owned docks, and changes to ginseng harvest requirements.

A complete list of proposed rules changes can be found at wildohio.gov.

Approved changes to river otter trapping regulations include adding new counties and zone designation changes, additional quail hunting at Tri-Valley and Crown City wildlife areas and allowing the use of range finders and other devices that utilize non-visible light when hunting with a longbow or crossbow.

A statewide public hearing on the proposed rules is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 13 at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus.

Walking and reading programs hosted by Black Swamp Conservancy

PERRYSBURG — Black Swamp Conservancy is combining two favorite summer activities in a Story Walk program in the region this summer.

Story Walks promote literacy, physical activity and community involvement. A book is taken apart and mounted (by page or spread) on panels that are posted along a walking trail or path. Families not only read the book, but have activities to complete or items to collect along the way. By the end of the program, participants have read a book, taken a walk and completed activities together.

The first book in the Story Walk program, “From Caterpillar to Butterfly” by Deborah Heiligman, is to be displayed throughout the grounds of The 577 Foundation in conjunction with the foundation’s Monarch Metamorphosis program this summer. Monarch Metamorphosis was inspired by retired biology teacher Susan Garn and her husband, Grant, who have perfected the art of fostering monarchs from egg to flyers over the past several years.

Through support from the Country Garden Club, Perrysburg Garden Club, the Garns and Tom Belcher, The 577 Foundation is to have monarchs in their varying life stages on display throughout the summer, including butterfly releases.

The free Story Walk is available 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The conservancy plans to use two additional books for the Story Walk program this year: “A River” by Marc Martin and “A Seed is Sleepy” by Dianna Hutts Aston. The three books are to be rotated in outdoor settings throughout northwest Ohio.

Check the conservancy’s Facebook page or website, www.BlackSwamp.org, for dates and locations.