Huron, OH More than 170 attended the 34th Annual Ohio Charter Captains Conference on March 7, 2015 to learn the latest on this year’s fishing outlook, licensing and regulations and get tips on managing a charter business.
The conference, held at the Cedar Point Conference Center at the Bowling Green State University Firelands Campus in Huron, Ohio, is co-sponsored by Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association.
In addition to gaining valuable information about how to improve their businesses, charter captains who attend the conference learn about environmental conditions, licensing and regulations — knowledge that they can then pass on to the thousands of fishermen who spend time in Lake Erie’s waters.
Feedback from this year’s attendees was very positive, says Ohio Sea Grant Fisheries Outreach Coordinator and Program Leader Tory Gabriel, who organizes the annual event.
One of the highlights of this year’s conference was a presentation by 4-H Extension Agent Mark Light, who spoke on using social media to boost charter boat business.
“I had one gentleman who had been to every Charter Captains Conference say that particular talk made this conference the best one ever”? Gabriel says.
Kevin Sprague, a conservation officer from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, spoke on law enforcement in Ontario waters — specifically the differences between Ontario and Ohio law enforcement. Chris Vandergoot, supervisor of the Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit of ODNR, gave a well-received talk on current ODNR research projects. “He had a lot of good information on tracking walleyes, particularly on male and female fish behavior during the spawn and all the kinds of things they can learn from that data”? Gabriel says.
Vandergoot kicked off the morning with the status of Lake Erie fisheries and the 2015 fishing outlook. Other speakers included Officer Jimmy Wray from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on border crossing requirements, Jeff Tyson from ODNR Division of Wildlife on Ohio’s plan for addressing Asian carp in Lake Erie, and LECBA President Capt. Paul Pacholski with an update on the association. Rich Carter from the ODNR Division of Wildlife addressed the crowd on behalf of Chief Scott Zody, who was unable to attend.
Information about next year’s conference is available from Tory Gabriel, Ohio Sea Grant Fisheries Outreach Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information on Ohio Sea Grant, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.
Tory Gabriel, Ohio Sea Grant, Extension Educator, 419.898.3631, email@example.com.