EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was written in response to reader-submitted question by way of Open Source, a platform the place readers can ask Richland Supply’s newsroom to analyze a query.
MANSFIELD — It is not a query typically requested of the Ohio Division of Pure Sources.
However a Richland Supply reader requested it by way of Open Supply, so we pursued a solution: “Is it authorized within the State of Ohio to make use of a band-powered speargun whereas snorkeling to spearfish?”
The most effective reply is a professional sure, however just for forage fish, in line with Jamey Emmert, communications specialist for the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
“That is the primary time I’ve ever gotten that query,” Emmert mentioned.
In keeping with the Ohio Administrative Code, it is lawful to take solely forage fish whereas pores and skin snorkel diving or whereas scuba diving in any water owned or managed by the division of wildlife or in some other water space the place pores and skin or scuba diving is lawful.
“That mentioned, I’d hesitate to imagine any waters owned or managed by county or metro parks for example would allow this exercise. It’s all the time greatest to examine first, in fact,” she mentioned.
She mentioned it could be finished in non-public waters with permission from the landowner. Emmert inspired residents to name their county wildlife officer or 1-800-WILDLIFE for extra data or clarification earlier than diving in.
Forage fish are sheepshead, carp, grass carp, silver carp, black carp, big-head carp, quillback, suckers, bowfin, gar, buffalo, gizzard shad, and goldfish and could also be taken by any methodology besides as expressly prohibited, akin to using explosives, poisons, firearms, electrical energy, chemical substances, seines, nets or traps.
A band-powered speargun would not function with chemical substances or explosives, Emmert mentioned.
Acccording to the website spearfishingworld.com, “Band-powered spear weapons are highly regarded the world over. They’re highly effective, correct weapons which might be just about silent when fired. Aiming is straightforward with a band-powered gun, particularly with open muzzles the place the diver can see the whole path of the shaft. In contrast to Pneumatic spear weapons, this gun’s energy could be elevated dramatically just by including extra bands, which a diver can load one by one thus attaining nice mixed energy. Band-powered spear weapons additionally require little or no upkeep.”
One key to profitable spearfishing whereas snorkeling or scuba diving can be visibility, making the follow troublesome at locations just like the Clearfork Reservoir.
“If it is authorized within the State of Ohio, it is authorized right here,” mentioned Gary Foster, operations supervisor for the reservoir, which is owned and operated by the Metropolis of Mansfield and has its own section under the city’s codified ordinances.
“I’m not positive how you’d do it, although. Visibility right here is a couple of foot and a half. Possibly in mid summer time it could be a bit higher,” Foster mentioned.
Foster mentioned, for instance, it could be simpler to face within the bow of a ship with a bow to take a carp when its again comes out of the water because it feeds alongside the financial institution.
“We do not have guidelines towards it,” he mentioned.
Besides maybe the foundations of frequent sense?
“If frequent sense was frequent, everybody would have it,” Foster mentioned with amusing.