Don’t toss minnows back in the water

I never thought much about it. At the end of every fishing trip, I’ve always carried the minnow bucket to the water’s edge and dumped all of our unused minnows back into the lake.

I figured I would let the little critters live a while longer. I mean if they’ve survived the rigors of my minnow bucket, sitting in the sun and being dunked back in the lake now and then. And since they’ve survived the scoop of death that took their pals off to life and death on a steel hook, the little critters should get the chance to swim free once again. Right?

Wrong, wrong wrong!

The Ohio Division of Wildlife is telling us not to empty that minnow bucket in the water. Dump the water out and throw the unused minnows in the trash.

“It’s a violation to throw them back in the lake. You can’t introduce any fish into Ohio waters. It’s a citable offense,” said Trent Weaver, Montgomery County officer for the Division of Wildlife.  Click on the following paragraph to access the full story.

“If a mother and little child decided to empty their goldfish bowl into a lake, that would be a violation. Do we write them (a ticket)? No, but something like that could be harmful to state waters,” Weaver added.  The whole thing goes back to Asian carp. Officials are taking every precaution to keep them out of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes. That’s commendable. And while they’re at it, they want to keep all other invasives out, too.

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