These Ohio statutes regulate possession of wildlife. These laws make it illegal to transport fish, game birds, or wild quadrupeds or any part thereof, unless in a container with a label showing certain information. However, no one may transport certain game birds and game quadrupeds out of state. No person may fish in any of the waters in the state without a license, including taking frogs or turtles. However, people fishing in privately owned waters are exempt from the license requirements.
1533.28 Wildlife restoration in cooperation with the United States; financial assistance
1533.29 Prima-facie evidence for violations
1533.30 Transportation of fish, game birds, and wild quadrupeds
1533.301 Permit to transfer commercial fish; offense; effect of permit
1533.31 Shipment of live wild animals
1533.32 Fishing license required; one-day licenses
The state hereby assents to the provisions of the act of congress entitled “An act to provide that the United States shall aid the states in wildlife restoration projects, and for other purposes,” approved September 2, 1937, Public Law Number 415, as amended; and to the provisions of the act of congress entitled “an act to provide that the United States shall aid the states in fish restoration and management projects and for other purposes,” approved August 9, 1950, Public Law Number 681, as amended.
The division of wildlife shall perform such acts as are necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative wildlife and fish restoration projects, as defined in said acts of congress, in compliance with said acts and with rules of the secretary of interior thereunder. No funds accruing to the state from license fees paid by hunters, trappers, or fishermen shall be diverted for any other purpose than the administration of the division of wildlife pursuant to Chapters 1531. and 1533. of the Revised Code.
The chief of the division of wildlife with the approval of the director may enter into agreements and participate in federal aid fish and wildlife programs, including, but not limited to:
(A) “Federal Aid To Wildlife Restoration Act,” Public Law Number 75-415 as amended;
(B) “Fish Restoration and Management Act,” Public Law Number 81-681 as amended;
(C) “Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act,” Public Law Number 96-366;
(D) “Endangered Species Act (wild animals),” Public Law Number 93-205 as amended;
(E) “Anadromous Fish Conservation Act,” Public Law Number 89-304 as amended;
(F) “Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act,” Public Law Number 88-309 as amended.
The chief of the division, with the approval of the director, may, as he deems appropriate, further enter into agreements for the purpose of obtaining financial assistance to benefit fish and wild animals in Ohio.
(1981 H 694, eff. 11-15-81; 1978 S 419; 1953 H 1; GC 1433a)
The finding of a gun, net, seine, boat, trap, or other device that is set, maintained, used, or had in possession in violation of the Revised Code or division rule is prima-facie evidence of the guilt of the person setting, maintaining, using, or possessing that property. The finding of a wild animal, or part thereof, unlawfully in the possession of any person is prima-facie evidence of the guilt of that person.
(1994 S 182, eff. 10-20-94; 130 v H 573, eff. 9-30-63; 1953 H 1; GC 1395)
No person shall receive for transportation, transport, or cause to be transported any box, package, or other receptacle containing fish, game birds, or wild quadrupeds [FN1], or any part thereof, unless such box, package, or receptacle bears a label showing the number and kind of such fish, game birds, or wild quadrupeds, or parts thereof, the name of the consignor and consignee, the initial point of billing, and the destination. Boxes, packages, or receptacles containing shipments of commercial fish may be marked by weight instead of the number of fish contained therein.
No person shall receive for transportation, transport, cause to be transported, or have in his possession with intent to transport or secure the transportation of, beyond the limits of this state, any game bird or game quadruped mentioned in Chapters 1531. and 1533. of the Revised Code, which has been killed in this state.
The reception and acceptance by any person within this state of such game bird or game quadruped for shipment to a point without the state is prima-facie evidence that it was killed within the state for conveyance beyond the limits thereof. If such game bird or game quadruped is legally taken by a nonresident, it may be transported by him from a point within the state to a point without the state, if it is accompanied by the actual owner thereof, and the owner has procured a nonresident hunting and trapping license. If such game bird or game quadruped is taken by a resident of this state in any other state or country, it may be transported by him from a point without the state to a point within the state, if the owner has an affidavit or other satisfactory evidence together with a nonresident license from the state or country in which such game bird or game quadruped was taken as proof of legal ownership.
This section does not apply to a common carrier into whose possession a game bird or game quadruped has come for transportation in the regular course of business, while such game bird or game quadruped is in transit through this state from a point without this state when [FN2] the killing thereof is lawful to a point without this state.
Each game bird or game quadruped killed, taken, had in possession, received for transportation, or transported contrary to this section constitutes a separate offense.
(1973 H 453, eff. 11-20-73; 130 v Pt 2, H 5; 1953 H 1; GC 1393)
[FN1] Prior and current versions differ although no amendment to this language was indicated in 1973 H 453; “quadrupeds” appeared as “quadruped” in 130 v Pt 2, H 5 and in 1953 H 1.
[FN2] Prior and current versions differ although no amendment to this language was indicated in 1973 H 453; “when” appeared as “where” in 130 v Pt 2, H 5 and in 1953 H 1.
Any person may apply for a permit to transport fish that are for sale, sold, or purchased. The chief of the division of wildlife shall issue an annual permit granting the applicant the privilege to transport such fish, upon filing of an application on a form prescribed by the chief and payment of a fee of sixty-five dollars. No person shall transport any fish or part thereof that is for sale, sold, or purchased, whether acquired in or outside this state, unless the consignor has a permit for the calendar year in which the fish is transported, except that no such permit is required for any of the following:
(A) Fish transported from a point outside this state to another point outside this state if the fish are not unloaded in this state. A fish is not to be considered unloaded for purposes of this section if it remains under the control of a common carrier.
(B) Fish being transported by a person holding a valid license under section 1533.34 of the Revised Code from the place of taking to the person's usual place of processing or temporary storage as designated by the person in the application for the license under that section;
(C) Fish being transported from a premises designated in a valid permit issued under section 1533.631 of the Revised Code to a premises where fish are to be sold at retail, sold for immediate consumption, or consumed if inspection of the designated premises as required by that section has not been denied during the preceding thirty days;
(D) Any quantity of fish the total weight of which does not exceed five hundred pounds in one vehicle;
(E) Minnows for which a permit is required under section 1533.40 of the Revised Code.
If a fish for which a permit is required under this section is transported in this state from a consignor who does not have a valid permit at the time of transportation, or if such a fish is transported in this state from a consignor who has a valid permit at the time of transportation, but the fish is part of the contents of a box, package, or receptacle that was or could be the basis for conviction of a violation of this chapter or a division rule, the fish may be seized by any law enforcement officer authorized by section 1531.13 of the Revised Code to enforce laws and division rules, and the fish shall escheat to the state unless a court of this state makes a specific finding that the consignor at the time of seizure had a valid permit under this section and that the fish are lawful under the requirements of this chapter or a division rule relating thereto.
A fish for which a permit is required under this section may be transported only if each box, package, or other receptacle bears a label showing the total weight in pounds, the species of the fish, the name of the consignor and consignee, the initial point of billing, the destination, and a statement that each species of fish by weight in the box, package, or other receptacle that are undersized under section 1533.63 of the Revised Code or division rule is ten per cent or less or is in excess of ten per cent, whichever the fact may be. If fish are not boxed or packaged, each compartment of a tank or other receptacle shall be considered a separate receptacle, but in lieu of a label on the compartment or tank a written statement containing the same information required to be contained on a label, and clearly identifying the tank or receptacle concerned, may be carried in the vehicle. Species may be designated in any manner, but the label also shall bear either the common name indicated in section 1533.63 of the Revised Code or the scientific name contained in section 1531.01 of the Revised Code. The consignor shall ascertain that labels are attached or statements carried as required herein and that the facts stated thereon are true.
The permit required by this section may be suspended by the chief for a period not to exceed five days upon conviction of the permittee of a violation of this chapter or Chapter 1531. of the Revised Code or a division rule if the permittee has been convicted of another such violation during the preceding twelve-month period. If the permittee has had two or more such convictions during the twelve-month period preceding such a conviction, the permittee's permit may be suspended as provided herein for a period not to exceed twenty days. A permit is invalid during the period of suspension, but in no case is a permit invalid until fifteen days after mailing by certified mail a notice of the rule of suspension by the chief.
The chief may not suspend more than one permit of the same permittee, or suspend a permit of the same permittee more than once, for convictions resulting from violations that occur in a load in one vehicle.
A driver or other person in charge of a vehicle transporting fish that are for sale, sold, or purchased, upon demand by any law enforcement officer authorized by section 1531.13 of the Revised Code to enforce laws and division rules, shall stop and open the vehicle and allow inspection of the load, and any box, package, or receptacle, and the contents thereof, for the purpose of determining whether this chapter or a division rule is being violated.
The word “fish” in the English language, at least eight inches high and maintained in a clear, conspicuous, and legible condition at all times, shall appear on both sides of the vehicle body of all vehicles transporting fresh water fish in this state when the fish are for sale or sold, except those fish exempt from a transportation permit in divisions (A), (B), and (E) of this section.
The chief may refuse to issue a permit to any person whose purpose in applying for the permit is to allow it to be used by another person to whom a permit has been refused or revoked. The chief also may revoke a person's permit when it is used for that purpose.
No civil action may be brought in any court in the state for the value or agreed price of fish that have escheated to the state under this section.
No person shall fail to comply with any provision of this section or a division rule adopted pursuant thereto.
In addition to other penalties provided in the Revised Code, the permit of any person who is convicted of two violations of this section that occurred within a twelve-month period is suspended upon the second such conviction by operation of law for a period of five fishing season days immediately following that conviction.
In addition to other penalties provided in the Revised Code, the permit of any person who is convicted of three or more violations of this section that occurred within a twelve-month period is suspended upon the third or subsequent conviction by operation of law for a period of twenty fishing season days immediately following that conviction.
During any period of suspension, no person shall use or engage in hauling or transporting fish with equipment owned, used, or controlled at the time of conviction by the permittee whose permit has been suspended.
(2003 H 95, eff. 9-26-03; 1994 S 182, eff. 10-20-94; 1988 S 256, eff. 7-20-88; 1974 S 532; 131 v H 577)
The chief of the division of wildlife may permit or forbid or otherwise regulate the receiving of any species of live wild animals for delivery within the state and the shipping of such wild animals from any point in the state to any point within or without the state. Upon the establishment of such regulations, the chief of the division of wildlife or any person designated by him may seize, impound, destroy, or otherwise dispose of such wild animals when received, shipped, or transported in violation of such regulations.
This section does not authorize action to prevent, delay, or impede the transporting of such wild animals in interstate commerce by common carrier, providing neither the point of sending nor the point of receiving is within the state.
(130 v H 573, eff. 9-30-63; 1953 H 1; GC 1393-1)
(A) Except as provided in this section or division (A)(2) or (C) of section 1533.12 of the Revised Code, no person, including nonresidents, shall take or catch any fish by angling in any of the waters in the state or engage in fishing in those waters without a license. No person shall take or catch frogs or turtles without a valid fishing license, except as provided in this section. Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs to or from which fish are not accustomed to migrate are exempt from the license requirements set forth in this section. Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs that are open to public fishing through an agreement or lease with the division of wildlife shall comply with the license requirements set forth in this section.
(B)(1) The fee for an annual license shall be forty-nine dollars for a resident of a state that is not a party to an agreement under section 1533.91 of the Revised Code. The fee for an annual license shall be eighteen dollars for a resident of a state that is a party to such an agreement. The fee for an annual license for residents of this state shall be eighteen dollars unless the rules adopted under division (B) of section 1533.12 of the Revised Code provide for issuance of a resident fishing license to the applicant free of charge. Except as provided in rules adopted under division (B)(2) of that section, each applicant who is a resident of this state and who at the time of application is sixty-six years of age or older shall procure a special senior fishing license, the fee for which shall be one-half of the annual resident fishing license fee.
(2) Any person under the age of sixteen years may take or catch frogs and turtles and take or catch fish by angling without a license.
(C) The chief of the division of wildlife may issue a tourist's license expiring three days from the effective date of the license to a resident of a state that is not a party to an agreement under section 1533.91 of the Revised Code. The fee for a tourist's license shall be eighteen dollars.
The chief shall adopt rules under section 1531.10 of the Revised Code providing for the issuance of a one-day fishing license to a resident of this state or of any other state. The fee for such a license shall be fifty-five per cent of the amount established under this section for a tourist's license, rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. A one-day fishing license shall allow the holder to take or catch fish by angling in the waters in the state, engage in fishing in those waters, or take or catch frogs or turtles in those waters for one day without obtaining an annual license or a tourist's license under this section. At the request of a holder of a one-day fishing license who wishes to obtain an annual license, a clerk or agent authorized to issue licenses under section 1533.13 of the Revised Code, not later than the last day on which the one-day license would be valid if it were an annual license, shall credit the amount of the fee paid for the one-day license toward the fee charged for the annual license if so authorized by the chief. The clerk or agent shall issue the annual license upon presentation of the one-day license and payment of a fee in an amount equal to the difference between the fee for the annual license and the fee for the one-day license.
Unless otherwise provided by division rule, each annual license shall begin on the first day of March of the current year and expire on the last day of February of the following year.
No person shall alter a fishing license or possess a fishing license that has been altered.
No person shall procure or attempt to procure a fishing license by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or any false statement.
A resident of this state who owns land over, through, upon, or along which any water flows or stands, except where the land is in or borders on state parks or state-owned lakes, together with the members of the immediate families of such owners, may take frogs and turtles and may take or catch fish of the kind permitted to be taken or caught therefrom without procuring a license provided for in this section. This exemption extends to tenants actually residing upon such lands and to the members of the immediate families of the tenants. A resident of any other state who owns land in this state over, through, upon, or along which any water flows or stands, except where the land is in or borders on state parks or state-owned lakes, and the spouse and children living with the owner, may take frogs and turtles and may take or catch fish of the kind permitted to be taken or caught from that water without obtaining a license under this section, provided that the state of residence of the owner allows residents of this state owning real property in that state, and the spouse and children living with such a property owner, to take frogs and turtles and take or catch fish without a license. If the owner of such land in this state is a limited liability company or a limited liability partnership that consists of three or fewer individual members or partners, as applicable, an individual member or partner who is a resident of this state and the member's or partner's children of any age may take frogs and turtles and may take or catch fish of the kind permitted to be taken or caught therefrom without procuring a license provided for in this section. In addition, if the owner of such land in this state is a trust that has a total of three or fewer trustees and beneficiaries, an individual who is a trustee or beneficiary and who is a resident of this state and the individual's children of any age may take frogs and turtles and may take or catch fish of the kind permitted to be taken or caught therefrom without procuring a license provided for in this section. Residents of state or county institutions, charitable institutions, and military homes in this state may take frogs and turtles without procuring the required license, provided that a member of the institution or home has an identification card, which shall be carried on that person when fishing.
Every fisher required to be licensed, while fishing or taking or attempting to take frogs or turtles, shall carry the license and exhibit it to any person. Failure to so carry and exhibit the license constitutes an offense under this section.
(2017 H 49, eff. 9-29-17; 2012 H 420, eff. 3-27-13; 2011 H 153, eff. 9-29-11; 2005 H 66, eff. 9-29-05; 2003 H 95, eff. 9-26-03; 1997 H 203, eff. 2-25-98; 1994 H 715, eff. 7-22-94; 1993 H 152, eff. 9-1-94; 1992 H 167; 1989 H 111; 1986 H 848; 1978 S 419; 1977 H 153; 1975 S 243, H 1; 1973 H 399, H 453; 1969 S 123; 132 v H 244; 131 v H 863, H 136; 130 v H 649; 129 v 1009; 126 v 86; 1953 H 1; GC 1430)