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Confused on Regulations

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So in this new year I'm trying to add some fresh fish into my diet. So I figured, hey why not put my favorite hobby to use and catch my own while ice fishing this winter. So like any responsible angler I went and read the regulations on length and limit which were pretty straight forward. But the one part I was confused about was the condition that the fish must be maintained. Here's the bullet points I'm not quite getting:

 

  • It is unlawful for any person to possess a fish in any form or condition other than whole while on or when unloading the fish from a boat, while wading, or while fishing from shore on any waters in this state where a fishing license is required.

 

So if my understanding of this is correct, if I'm fishing (in any form, boat, shore, ice fishing, etc,) I HAVE to keep the fish whole. Is that right?

 

  • Fillets must be kept whole until an angler reaches their permanent residence, or until the fish are prepared for immediate consumption. This does not apply to anglers with a receipt from a fish cleaning house or charter captain which states the date, number, and type of fish possessed. Fish must be transported whole or as a complete fillet while returning from the Lake Erie islands on a commercial ferry boat. 

 

Here's where I'm getting a little tripped up. If I have to keep the fish whole, in what instance would I have fillets? Would I be able to somehow lawfully fillet my fish at the sight, properly discard of the extras, and then only take the fillets home? (that would be ideal). Or do I have to wait until I get home to fillet the fish? Can someone clear this one up for me? 

 

Thank you

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Call your local game warden for an explanation would be the best advice. I know that we have to keep the fish whole until we're done fishing. Once the boat is on the trailer or all your gear is put up the fish can be filleted but the fillets have to be kept whole (not chunked up or cut into strips), so that the number of fish kept can still be determined. You just can't fillet them while you're still fishing. 

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It looks like that particular law is referring to if your at a lodge or cabins of some sort, you keep your fish whole until your back at camp, but if you were planning on transporting fillets from the camp to your house you’d need to keep the fillets whole so they could tell the species/number of fish etc. In Ontario we have a law similar, you must keep a certain amount of skin on each fillet while transporting so they can figure out what kind of fish you’ve got. 

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Both guys seem to be spot on with it. Like @Bluebasser86 stated talk with your local game and fish Officer. Those guys want to educate rather than write tickets.

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You can clean fish once you have reached shore. When transporting the fish the skin must be intact on the filet

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2 hours ago, slonezp said:

You can clean fish once you have reached shore. When transporting the fish the skin must be intact on the filet

In my fair state , you have to wait until you get home. I got my wrist slapped for cleaning them at the ramp once

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9 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

In my fair state , you have to wait until you get home. I got my wrist slapped for cleaning them at the ramp once

What happens if you want to have a fish fry at the ramp?

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27 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

In my fair state , you have to wait until you get home. I got my wrist slapped for cleaning them at the ramp once

Here, as long as 1 square inch of skin showing the markings to identify the species is on, that's all you need.

16 minutes ago, slonezp said:

What happens if you want to have a fish fry at the ramp?

Invite the DNR officer to partake?

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All the different answers here are a prime example of why you're better off getting your legal advice from the experts instead of an online forum. I've called a few times to get clarification and our guys have always been more than willing to help. They'd much rather answer a question now than have to have an unpleasant encounter later. 

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I'd call wardens office if anything is questionable. Learned the hard way while living in Montana. Their fishery laws can get overwhelming with so many specifics on certain areas along same body of water. I'd bet @slonezphas it right way it reads

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Read your regs from start to finish, every paragraph and it should become clear to you what the intent is.

Most public lakes with a boat luanching area will also have fish cleaning area with regulations posted for that specific lake.

After re reading the regs, then make the call.

Tom

 

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Also, keep a copy with you at all times.  Sometimes even the agents make mistakes.  I have a life time license.  Few years back I was running crab nets, and I had an agent stop me for a license check.  He told me that my license didn't cover crab nets and he was about to write me a ticket.  I pulled out my regs book and showed him that crab nets were covered under my lifetime license.  He then apologized and went on his way.  In the end, the ticket would have gotten thrown out because I was clearly not in violation, but going to court to get all that done would have been more of a hassle.  

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As a fellow Ohioan I can tell you they are a big stickler when it comes to yellow perch and walleye. You cannot clean any fish at the ramp. It must be done at a designated fish cleaning area, a processing facility or at home. When transporting fillets they must remain whole and have skin fully attached so the DNR can quickly ID species. Come to the NW in March/April during the Maumee River Walleye Run and you will learn the regs real quick and see more ODNR than you'll have ever seen.

On ‎12‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 4:24 PM, Swbass15 said:

Both guys seem to be spot on with it. Like @Bluebasser86 stated talk with your local game and fish Officer. Those guys want to educate rather than write tickets.

 If only that was true here. In my line of work I have seen the county and city financials, they budget "X" amount of money each year from DNR citations to make money.

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On 12/30/2018 at 3:46 PM, slonezp said:

You can clean fish once you have reached shore. When transporting the fish the skin must be intact on the filet

This is how I read it. Before leaving the lake they need the whole fish to check if fish are under/over length limits, and once you've left they need whole fillets to be able to count the number of fish and check possession limits.

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On ‎12‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 11:50 PM, BigMinnow said:

So in this new year I'm trying to add some fresh fish into my diet. So I figured, hey why not put my favorite hobby to use and catch my own while ice fishing this winter. So like any responsible angler I went and read the regulations on length and limit which were pretty straight forward. But the one part I was confused about was the condition that the fish must be maintained. Here's the bullet points I'm not quite getting:

 

  • It is unlawful for any person to possess a fish in any form or condition other than whole while on or when unloading the fish from a boat, while wading, or while fishing from shore on any waters in this state where a fishing license is required.

 

So if my understanding of this is correct, if I'm fishing (in any form, boat, shore, ice fishing, etc,) I HAVE to keep the fish whole. Is that right?

 

  • Fillets must be kept whole until an angler reaches their permanent residence, or until the fish are prepared for immediate consumption. This does not apply to anglers with a receipt from a fish cleaning house or charter captain which states the date, number, and type of fish possessed. Fish must be transported whole or as a complete fillet while returning from the Lake Erie islands on a commercial ferry boat. 

 

Here's where I'm getting a little tripped up. If I have to keep the fish whole, in what instance would I have fillets? Would I be able to somehow lawfully fillet my fish at the sight, properly discard of the extras, and then only take the fillets home? (that would be ideal). Or do I have to wait until I get home to fillet the fish? Can someone clear this one up for me? 

 

Thank you

This is what the government regs are actually saying:

 

"On every other Tuesday of odd months with more than 30 days, all left handed people who luck out and finally catch something have to keep the fish in its original container without any modifications whatsoever. Then, on each day of the week that starts with a W the right handed anglers have to make sure the fish's head is secure to its body. On all other days fisherpeople (PC correct) have to take off their pants when throwing artificial baits with their Zebco setups and all fish caught are to be photographed because no one catches anything with a Zebco."

 

As for the filets, " Fisherpeople can gut the fish after they are caught and before you take them home and save the guts for snack food for the fisherpeoople to enjoy later in the day as long as they filet the fish on the ground and then put the flesh back into the fish and Scotch Tape the fish together with the filets inside the fish. If the fish is brought to a 7-11 or WaWa then the filets can be brought out and shown to everyone in the store, drunk or sober. After that you can take the filets home and cook them on the top of your stove in peanut oil for 25 minutes to kill everything that got on them on the way home."

 

You have to learn to read between the lines when interpreting any government directions. :)

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@Chance_Taker4 man that is disappointing to hear. I would hope game wardens would want to teach and inform vs just writing tickets. But yea that’s the gov for you smh. I’ll keep the ones we got and be thankful for them.

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Great advice to contact your State game wardens, but I would suggest going a step further. Instead of calling them, send them an email. Someone told me doesn’t hold up if something were to happen, but emails are actually legal documents. Anytime I need a record of something, I ask the individual to send me the information in writing through email. 

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