The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) Director James Zehringer announces Gary Obermiller, a veteran ODNR administrator and law enforcement officer, as the chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft.
Obermiller, who will begin his duties on Nov. 1, replaces Rodger Norcross, who is retiring after 25 years of service.
"Gary Obermiller is a dedicated public servant, who will continue to serve Ohioans and keep the state's waterways safe," said Zehringer. "Gary has decades of experience with ODNR and is well-suited to lead one of our most visible and vital divisions."
Norcross has spent his entire career with ODNR. Prior to becoming chief of the division in 2011, he worked within the ODNR Office of Law Enforcement and as a watercraft area supervisor.
"I applaud Rodger Norcross for his excellent leadership and dedication to the department and the ODNR Division of Watercraft," said Zehringer. "I wish Rodger and his family all the best and look forward to seeing him on the water."
Obermiller, a Huron County native, began working as a seasonal employee with ODNR in 1984. Commissioned in 1987, he became a district preserve manager for the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves in 1995. In 2000, he was promoted to north region preserve manager and in 2004 assumed the role of law enforcement administrator, in addition to his field management duties. In December 2009, Obermiller was named program administrator for the division and assumed management of all field and central support operations. In 2010, he was named chief of the ODNR Office of Law Enforcement. In 2012, he moved to Ohio State Parks where he served as the north region administrator.
Obermiller is a certified Ohio Law Enforcement instructor in a variety of areas including firearms, defensive tactics and basic academy instruction. He has served on a number of statewide law enforcement committees. In 1985, Obermiller received an associate degree in recreation and wildlife/law enforcement from Hocking College. He was a patrolman and sergeant for the Wakeman Police Department from 1988 to 1992.
The ODNR Division of Watercraft ensures boating safety and improved access on Lake Erie, the Ohio River, Ohio's 600 inland lakes and 60,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways. In his new role, Obermiller will supervise the state's watercraft officers responsible for law enforcement on all of Ohio's waters. The division also conducts water safety education, registers and titles watercraft, and protects Ohio's scenic rivers.
Jack Kiser is the host of TV's "Buckeye Angler" and co-host of "Destination: Outdoors" on Fox Sports radio, aired locally on 1350 AM Monday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m.
To see this week's Area Fishing Report, pick up a copy of the Aug. 30 Record-Courier.