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Ohio Watercraft Officers increase patrols to stop boating under the influence

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will be participating in Operation Dry Water June 27-29 as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence (BUI) of drugs or alcohol.

“Consuming alcohol on a boat can have serious, even deadly, consequences,” said Gary Obermiller, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “It is critical for drivers and passengers to stay sober and stay safe at all times while boating.”

The leading factor in boater deaths nationwide is alcohol use while boating. Operation Dry Water will focus on increased patrols, Breathalyzer tests and checkpoints as well as boater education about the dangers of boating under the influence.

Last year during the three-year Operation Dry Water, ODNR Division of Watercraft officers contacted boaters on 456 vessels and made 10 arrests for boating under the influence.

In Ohio, boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of .08 can expect to be arrested for BUI and face other serious penalties, including fines, jail and loss of privileges to register and to operate boats.

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the ODNR Division of Watercraft, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and local marine patrol officers. For more information on Operation Dry Water visit operationdrywater.org.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft is responsible for boating safety, education and law enforcement on all waters of the state. This statewide area includes the near shore area along 451 miles of the Ohio River, approximately half the entire surface area of Lake Erie, more than 605 inland lakes and more than 60,000 miles of inland streams, rivers and other waterways.

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Castalia State Fish Hatcheryoffers controlled trout fishing

A half-mile section of Cold Creek at Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County will be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates for controlled trout fishing, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Controlled trout fishing is offered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery from May 6-Nov. 29. No weekend or holiday fishing is available. Anglers interested in this event must apply online and pay a non-refundable $3 application fee from March 1-31 in order to be eligible for a random drawing. Applicants can apply at www.wildohio.com.

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