"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Unsafe Ice
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres
Unsafe ice already has claimed its first fishing drowning victim in the northern tier counties where the bravest (make that most foolish) are trying some ice fishing. There is no way the future can be seen at this time.
What that boils down to is this: The watchword is caution, whereever and whatever, you are planning for an ice adventure.
Most ice--except for the pelagic zones of big lakes and impoundments, are snow covered now (up to a foot or more in the far north) and snow is one of the best insulations from low air temperatures.
On some bodies of water existing skim ice may thicken and on others it may not. It is a very precarious situation, and it most likely will get “iffier” before it gets safer. The problem could be solved by a good, open water thaw and a refreezing with good, clear ice.
Most ice is being viewed with skepticism in the north and ignored in central and southern portions of the state.  


A memorial service to celebrate the life of William B. “BILL” BARNES, who died last month after 99 years of vivid life, most of them in many capacities with the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, will be held Jan. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the State Library. 
Sponsored by the Indiana Historical Bureau, Department of Natural Resources, and Indiana Wildlife Federation, the memorial will start with registration at 1 p.m., the service at 1:30 and a reception at 2:30. Those planning to attend must make reservations by telephone (317/232-2535), or online (pbennett@history.in.gov ). The State Library is situated at the southwest corner of Ohio Street and Senate Avenue in downtown Indianapolis.
Bill’s career as a dedicated conservationist spanned numerous positions in what was known as the “Division of Fish and Game” (when he started with the division in 1940). He wore many hats in his tenure, but he was best known as the charter director of the Division of Nature Preserves when it was founded with the opening of Pine Hills Nature Preserve in 1967. It was the first of now more than 200 such properties.
He was first known in Hoosier conservation circles as Federal Aid coordinator, but in the interims as administrations changed he stayed busy educating political directors. It is not clear that he ever wore the mantel of assistant director, but he was widely accepted as such. His hand was much involved in obtaining and developing the system of state properties. Sum his life up and you find he was Mr. Hoosier Conservation, personified.     


Sports shows coming up in the next couple of months include:
Jan. 5--The first Indiana On The Fly, a one-day fly-fishing event from 10 a.m. to 6 p. m. at the Farm Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds (38 th. Street in Indianapolis).

Jan. 18 through Jan. 27--The Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show at The Cincinnati Convention Center (Fifth and Elm streets in downtown Cincinnati).  Concurrent shows are Cincinnati Golf Show, Jan. 18-25, and Cincinnati Hunting and Fishing Show (Jan. 18 through 28).

Feb. 15 through 24--The 54th Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, at Indiana State Fairgrounds Pepsi Coliseum and several adjacent buildings. Also, Jan. 15 through 24, 11th Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Show in Exposition Hall; and 17th Indiana Motorcycle Exposition, Feb. 17 through 21, in Exposition Hall. 

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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