Kasich signs Boater Freedom Act
PORT CLINTON, OH – Governor John R. Kasich joined anglers for a day of fishing on Lake Erie on Wednesday for the Governor’s Fish Ohio Day. Twenty charter boats participated in the event this year, and a total of 207 walleye were caught by the anglers, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“For more than 30 years, Ohio’s governors have promoted Lake Erie’s sport fishery and tourism industries through Fish Ohio Day,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. "Anglers from all over the world come to fish in Lake Erie and enjoy the hospitality of the people that live, work and depend on this great lake. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that Ohio’s fish populations remain healthy and support sustainable fisheries into the future."
Ohio has an $800 million sport fishery industry, and the eight counties bordering Lake Erie provide $11.5 billion in tourism dollars annually to Ohio. This total makes up more than 25 percent of Ohio’s tourism dollars ($40 billion). Lake Erie fisheries support 7,000 jobs, 639,000 anglers and the largest charter boat industry in the Great Lakes, including more than 750 licensed charters.
During the Fish Ohio event, Kasich signed House Bill 29, known as the Boater Freedom Act, sponsored by Rep. Rex Damschroder (Fremont), which establishes conditions for watercraft safety inspections. This new law will minimize the opportunity for multiple stops by state and local entities and allow Ohioans and visitors to enjoy their time on the water.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife was a sponsor of Fish Ohio Day as well as Lake Erie Shores and Islands-West and the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association.
Current and recent ODNR Lake Erie-related fishing and boating projects include:
The nationally recognized Middle Harbor Restoring Lake Erie Hydrology and a Coastal Marsh partnership between state, federal and private organizations to restore and reconnect Lake Erie coastal wetlands and enhance both fisheries and wildlife values.
Reviewing the inter-jurisdictional management of walleye to ensure fishing rates are kept at appropriate levels throughout Lake Erie.
Working with other agencies on an Asian carp partnership to prevent carp establishment in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie.
Collaborating with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to address water quality conditions across the state.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
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For more information, contact:
Matt Eiselstein, ODNR Office of Communications