In conformity with Section 36 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, providing for the passage of laws for the conservation of the natural resources of the state, including streams, lakes, submerged lands, and swamplands, and in conformity with this chapter and Chapter 1533. of the Revised Code, the chief of the division of wildlife has authority and control in all matters pertaining to the protection, preservation, propagation, possession, and management of wild animals and may adopt rules under section 1531.10 of the Revised Code for the management of wild animals. Notwithstanding division (B) of section 119.03 of the Revised Code, such rules in proposed form shall be filed under this section. Each year there shall be a public fish hearing and public game hearing. The results of the investigation and public hearing shall be filed in the office of the chief and shall be kept open for public inspection during all regular office hours. Modifying or rescinding such rules does not require a public hearing.
The chief may adopt, amend, rescind, and enforce rules throughout the state or in any part or waters thereof as provided by sections 1531.08 to 1531.12 and other sections of the Revised Code. The rules shall be filed in proposed form and available at the central wildlife office and at each of the wildlife district offices, including the Lake Erie unit located at Sandusky, at least thirty days prior to the date of the hearing required by division (C) of section 119.03 of the Revised Code. The rules shall be based upon a public hearing and investigation of the best available biological information derived from professionally accepted practices in wildlife and fisheries management.
Each rule adopted under this section shall clearly and distinctly describe and set forth the waters or area or part thereof affected by the rule and whether the rule is applicable to all wild animals or only to certain kinds of species designated therein.
The chief may regulate any of the following:
(A) Taking and possessing wild animals, at any time and place or in any number, quantity, or length, and in any manner, and with such devices as he prescribes;
(B) Transportation of such animals or any part thereof;
(C) Buying, selling, offering for sale, or exposing for sale any such animal or part thereof;
(D) Taking, possessing, transporting, buying, selling, offering for sale, and exposing for sale commercial fish or any part thereof, including species taken, length, weight, method of taking, mesh sizes, specifications of nets and other fishing devices, seasons, and time and place of taking.
When the chief increases the size of a fish named in section 1533.63 of the Revised Code, any fish that were legally taken, caught, or possessed prior to the increase may be possessed after the increase if the possession of the fish has been reported to the chief prior to the increase, but on or after the date of the increase the fish may not be sold to a buyer in this state.
Effective Date: 03-04-1998