Funds Coming To DNR Fish And Wildlife (03-02-2009)
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will receive more than $11
million from two federal programs that help states fund fish and wildlife
conservation, boater access to public waters, and hunter and aquatic education.
"I can't stress enough the importance of this revenue-generating partnership,"
said Glen Salmon, director of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. "Along
with license sales, these funds are driving the management of Indiana fish
Indiana will get $5,836,724 from the Wildlife Restoration Program, otherwise
known as the Pittman-Robertson Fund, and $5,235,357 from the Sport Fish
Restoration Program, otherwise known as the Dingell-Johnson Fund. Both
funds are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In recent years, the DNR has used allotted funds to stock fish; develop
and maintain public boating and fishing access sites; provide hunter education
programs; purchase land for public hunting, fishing and wildlife watching;
provide aquatic education for youth at its State Fair fishing pond; develop
and maintain shooting ranges on fish and wildlife areas for recreational
shooting participants; and complete many more fish-and-wildlife-related
The funds are part of the $740.9 million that Department of the Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar recently announced will be distributed to the fish
and wildlife agencies of the 50 states, commonwealths, the District of
Columbia, and territories. Funding is based on a formula consisting of
land area, including inland waters, and the number of paid hunting license-holders
in each state, commonwealth, and territory.
These funds come from excise taxes and import duties on sporting firearms,
ammunition, archery equipment, sport fishing equipment, electric outboard
motors, and fuel taxes attributable to motorboats and small engines.
Fishing And Recreation Guides Available (2-18-2009)
The 2009 DNR Fishing Guide is now available, free of charge, at most
DNR properties, various sporting goods stores, fishing license vendors
and other locations around the state. The 2009 Recreation Guide is at many
of the same places or will be shortly.
Longtime fans of the DNR Fishing and Recreation Guide will notice a
change this year. For the past few years, this was one publication. This
year, to better serve each interest group, they are separate publications.
Those who are interested in both topics should be sure to get both publications.
Both are available, free of charge, at most of the same locations around
The 40-page Fishing Guide's cover shows a pair of anglers enjoying success
on Steuben County's Clear Lake. In addition to providing fishing rules
and regulations, the new Fishing Guide includes articles on Indiana's fisheries
program, fishing for walleye, and research on catfish done on the Wabash
The 50-page Recreation Guide cover features a scenic stream at Turkey
Run State Park. The guide includes everything you want to know about DNR
properties, including state parks, lakes, state forests, state park inns,
fish and wildlife areas, state museum and historic sites and nature preserves,
plus articles on mountain biking, exploring the outdoors with kids, camping
for beginners, and more.
Lovers of the outdoor activities who can't find one, the other or either
guide, can obtain a copy by e-mailing DNRGuideRequests@dnr.IN.gov. Both
guides also can be viewed in their entirety at dnr.IN.gov by clicking on
the appropriate link. Both are musts for those new to the state and fitting
additions to any neighborhood welcome package.
Hunters Set State Record In 2008 Season
Indiana deer hunters registered a state record by bagging more than
129,000 deer during the 2008 hunting season.
The 129,748 total surpassed the previous high mark of 125,526 set in
2005 and represented a 4 percent increase over the 2007 season.
“That’s a remarkable increase that reflects the skills possessed
by Hoosier hunters,” DNR director Robert E. Carter Jr. said. “It’s good
to see them continue to help manage deer populations while putting food
on the table.”
The taking of antlerless deer--does and fawns of either sex--played
a key role in the sharp increase. The 78,903 antlerless deer that were
reported were a single-season record and 5 percent higher than 2007. Antlerless
totals exceeded 1,000 deer in 29 counties compared to 25 counties in 2007,
and antlerless deer constituted half the total harvest in 88 of 92 counties.
The 2008 antlered total of 50,845 was a 3 percent increase over 2007
and was the third highest on record.
Despite bad weather on opening day of the firearm season (Nov. 15-30),
that segment still accounted for 67 percent, or 86,454 deer, of the total
harvest. That was a 7 percent increase over 2007.
Early archery season (Oct. 1 to Nov. 30) accounted for 20 percent
of the total, with 12 percent coming in the muzzleloader season (Dec. 6-21).
The youth (Sept. 27-28) and late archery (Dec. 6 to Jan. 4) seasons each
accounted for 1 percent of the total.
For the fourth straight year, Steuben County, in the stateâ€™s
northeast corner, was the top county for deer hunting success with 3,672
deer reported, a slight decrease from 2007. Steuben also ranked first in
antlered harvest with 1,214 deer. Kosciusko, Noble and Marshall counties
ranked 2-3-4, all with record totals above 3,000. Record harvests were
established in 33 more counties and tied in one.
It was the fifth straight season in which the total harvest topped 120,000
deer. Approximately 2.59 million deer have been legally taken during the
past 57 deer hunting seasons in Indiana.
A complete report of the 2008 season is at in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-2008deerseasonsummary.pdf.
Forests Open House Dates Set (2-18-2009)
Interested Hoosiers can share their views on the operation, funding
and staffing of Indianaâ€™s state forests during the DNR Division
of Forestry 's series of open houses in March and April.
Meetings at each property will include displays about recreational
activities, budget issues, staffing, major projects, the 2008-2013 Division
of Forestry Strategic Plan, invasive species control and forest resource
management. Attendees can talk directly with DNR personnel or, if they
prefer, submit written comments concerning forest and recreation management
policies and programs. Light refreshments will be served.
“These open houses provide Hoosiers with a chance to receive first-hand
information about how the state forests are working to provide diverse
wildlife habitat, forest products and recreational opportunities,” said
State Forester John Seifert. “They also allow us to receive valuable feedback
from our neighbors and users about state forest management issues. I encourage
everyone who has an interest in the state forests to participate in this
year’s open houses.”
Hoosiers who cannot attend an open house can review and comment on management
plans online. The Division of Forestry posts all tract management guides
for public inspection and comment at dnr.IN.gov/forestry/. Click on the
link to “State Forest Management Guides” to see the current list of guides
The open houses will be held at seven properties. Times listed are Eastern
- Owen-Putnam State Forest, Tuesday, March 17, 7 p.m. Office is 6 miles
west of Spencer on Indiana 46 (5 miles west of Spencer on Indiana 46, then
north on Fish Creek Road for 1 mile), (812) 829-2462. Staff from Greene-Sullivan
State Forest also will be present.
- Martin State Forest, Tuesday, April 7, 7 p.m. Office is on U.S. 50,
approximately 5 miles east of Shoals, (812) 247-3491.
- Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Thursday, April 9, 7 p.m. The office is
5 miles south of Martinsville on Indiana 37, then 8 miles east on the forest
road, (765) 342-4026. Staff from Yellowwood State Forest also will be present.
Visitors can tour the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment located on the state
- Harrison-Crawford State Forest, Wednesday, April 15, 7 p.m. Office
is 7 miles west of Corydon on Indiana 62, left on Indiana 462 for 3 miles
to entrance gate of O'Bannon Woods State Park. Proceed past gate, make
first left turn on paved road to the white building on left, (812) 738-7694.
- Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Saturday, April 18, 11 a.m.-
2 p.m. The office is located on County Road 275 W, east of Indiana 135,
approximately 6 miles south of Brownstown, (812) 358-3464. Staffs from
Jackson-Washington State Forest and Selmier State Forest also will be present.
- Ferdinand State Forest, Wednesday, April 22, 7 p.m. The office is
on Indiana 264, approximately 4 miles northeast of Ferdinand, (812) 367-1524.
- Clark State Forest, Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The office
is 1 mile north of Henryville on Indiana 31, (812) 294-4306. Staff from
Deam Lake State Recreation Area also will be present.
For more information or detailed directions, please call the state forest
office at the number listed for the property desired.
Need To Heed Firewood Restrictions (8-20-2008)
Those planning to camp at an Indiana state park,
state recreation area or state forest for Labor Day weekend or at any other
time should be aware that there are restrictions on the firewood these
properties allow through their gates. The reason is to help slow the spread
of the invasive insect emerald ash borer.
Known as EAB for short, this exotic species
of beetle has killed more than 20 million ash trees in the Midwest. On
its own, EAB can advance about a half-mile to one mile per year. A problem
arises when people unknowingly move infested ash wood to new areas, spreading
the insect much faster and farther than it can move on its own.
EAB has been found in 19 Indiana counties, including
Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Floyd, Hamilton, Huntington, Kosciusko,
LaGrange, Marion, Noble, Porter, Randolph, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wabash,
Wells, White and Whitley.
Visitors entering state property campgrounds
are asked at the gate if they have brought any firewood from quarantined
counties in Indiana listed above, or from any federally quarantined states,
including all of Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and parts of Pennsylvania, West
Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. The only hardwood firewood that can be
brought into state properties is (1) from non-quarantined Indiana
counties, (2) scrap kiln-dried lumber with no bark attached to it,
and (3) that which was purchased at a commercial store and that has
a USDA compliance stamp.
The recent discovery of EAB in Floyd County
brings the impact of this insect sharply into focus for southern Indiana.
“Before the emerald ash borer was found
in Floyd County, all of the discoveries in the Hoosier state had been north
of Indianapolis,” said Ginger Murphy, assistant director for stewardship
for Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs. "Most folks from northern Indiana
who camp have grown accustomed to our firewood policy. Campers from Floyd
County need to know that they are now part of this quarantine, and they
need to leave their hardwood firewood at home."
Firewood brought to properties from quarantined
Indiana counties or quarantined states that do not meet the above conditions
will be confiscated at the gate and burned as soon as possible. Confiscation
and burning the firewood quickly eliminates the possibility that any adult
EABs in the wood emerge and start a new infestation.
Campers should also be aware of the source of
any firewood they purchase to use when camping at non-state properties.
Many private campgrounds also restrict firewood brought in to their properties.
Travelers headed out of state from any county
in Indiana cannot, under federal law, take hardwood firewood out of the
state. Similarly, federal law prohibits travelers from moving hardwood
firewood out of Ohio, Illinois or Michigan.
For tips on protecting forests when camping, go
to dontmovefirewood.org. More information about EAB, including quarantines
and identification materials, can be found online at entm.purdue.edu/eab
or by calling (866) NO-EXOTIC (663-9684). Questions regarding EAB should
be directed to Purdue University entomologist Jodie Ellis at (765) 494-0822,
Season Waterfowl Season Dates Announced
The regular-season waterfowl dates, as proposed
to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) by the Indiana DNR,
are as listed below. The dates are not final until approved by the USFWS
in mid- to late September. Look for another Wild Bulletin around that time
that will either confirm or amend these dates. Historically, they have
been accepted as proposed.
At the end of the dates, there is important information
about changes in some regulations for this year.
- Ducks, coots, and mergansers:
North Zone: 10/18/08 - 12/16/08
South Zone: 10/25/08 - 11/2/08 and 11/26/08 -
Ohio River Zone: 11/1/08 - 11/2/08 and 11/29/08
Bag limit of six ducks daily, including no more
than 4 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be hens), 3 mottled ducks,
3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 scaup, 1 black duck, and 1 pintail. The season
on canvasbacks is closed. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.
- Canada geese:
North Zone: 10/18/08 - 10/19/08 and 11/8/08 -
South Zone: 10/25/08 - 11/2/08 and 11/26/08 -
Ohio River Zone: 11/1/08 - 11/2/08 and 11/21/08
Bag limit of 2 Canada geese daily; possession
limit is 4.
Counties that were previously in the SJBP Zone
are now in the North Zone. The SJBP Zone no longer exists.
Late Canada Goose Zone: 2/1/09 - 2/15/09
The late Canada Goose Zone includes the following
counties: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay, DeKalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton,
Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, LaGrange,
Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, Parke, St. Joseph, Shelby, Steuben,
Starke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Wells, and Whitley. Special restrictions
apply: a free permit is required, and all geese harvested must be checked
at a DNR check station. Details will be available later this winter.
- Light geese and brant:
Statewide: 10/18/08 - 1/30/09
Bag limit of 20 light geese (snow and/or Ross'
geese) and 1 brant. Possession limit is 2 brant. There is no possession
limit on light geese.
Light goose conservation order: 2/1/09 - 3/31/09
No bag or possession limit. A free permit is required.
Details will be available later this winter.
- White fronted geese:
11/7/08 - 1/31/09
Bag limit of 1 white-fronted goose. Possession
limit is 2.
- Youth hunt:
North Zone: 10/11/08 - 10/12/08
South Zone: 10/18/08 - 10/19/08
Ohio River Zone: 10/25/08 - 10/26/08
Bag and possession limits are the same as for
the regular seasons.
- Extended Falconry:
Mourning Doves: 10/17/08 - 11/6/ 08 and 1/1/09
Woodcock: 9/20/08 - 10/14/08 and 11/29/08 - 1/4/09
Ducks, coots, and mergansers:
North Zone: 9/27/08 - 9/30/08 and 2/14/09 - 3/10/09
South Zone: 10/18/08 - 10/24/08 and 2/17/09 -
Ohio River Zone: 10/25/08 - 10/31/08 and 2/17/09
Waterfowl Hunters To See Changes This Year
While Indiana will enjoy another liberal duck
season this year, there are a few changes of which hunters should be aware.
The SJBP Zone Is Gone
For Canada goose hunters, the Southern James Bay
Population (SJBP) Zone will no longer exist. These counties will now be
incorporated into the North Zone.
Adam Phelps, waterfowl research biologist for
the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, said, "This zone was established
years ago to protect flocks of long-distance migrant SJBP geese. However,
we have been able to show through band return data that these birds are
now spread out across the state, so the zone no longer works to protect
these birds. That, plus the increase of locally breeding giant Canada geese,
has caused goose managers in the Mississippi Flyway to shift their thinking.
Goose seasons throughout the Flyway have been liberalized experimentally
for five years to determine if the number of local geese will 'swamp' the
Canadian birds in the harvest."
"Swamping" means there are so many giant Canada
geese, in Indiana and in surrounding states, that just by their sheer numbers
they will keep the long-distance migrants from being harvested in large
The removal of this SJBP Zone means that Canada
goose hunters statewide will have the same season length-74 days-for the
first time since 1990.
Late Canada Goose Season Will Continue
In addition, the experimental Late Canada Goose
Zone season that began last year will continue. This season will be open
Feb. 1-15, 2009, in the following counties: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay,
De Kalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson,
Kosciusko, La Porte, Lagrange, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble,
Parke, St. Joseph, Shelby, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo,
Wells and Whitley. During this season, hunters may take five Canada geese
Hunters will still be required to obtain a special
permit. The process should be easier this year, with an online permitting
application that is in the works.
Hunters will still be required to check in all
birds taken at a DNR check station.
"We definitely feel the frustration of hunters
who have to drive a long distance to check birds, especially with the high
cost of fuel. But if we want to keep this season past the three-year experimental
period, we must collect and measure the heads of adult geese, and there
is no other way to do it. Hunters are asked to be patient during the three-year
experiment-if all goes as expected, birds will no longer have to be checked
and permits will no longer be required after the 2010 season," Phelps said.
An Extra Wood Duck In The Bag
Another bright spot for Indiana hunters this year
is that the daily bag limit for wood ducks will increase from two per day
to three. Years of work by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has
shown that these popular birds are capable of sustaining more harvest than
is currently being taken.
"This is great news, especially for early season
hunters. A large proportion of the bags of early season duck hunters contain
wood ducks. Populations will be monitored closely for the next few years
to ensure that the extra harvest is not adversely affecting wood duck populations
on a continental scale. This is an experiment, and if wood duck numbers
drop, the bag limit could be reduced back to two birds per day," Phelps
Phelps cautions hunters to enjoy this, but not
to get used to it.
"I think that everything will be fine and we'll
have three woodies in the bag for the foreseeable future, but if things
take a bad turn, the bag limit will be reduced," he said.
Diving Duck Bag Limits To Be Reduced
After a record population estimate in 2007, the
2008 count of canvasbacks breeding on the North American prairies dropped
44 percent this year. Because of this rapid drop, the USFWS is recommending
a closed season for this prized species this year.
Last year's record count prodded the USFWS to
do something unprecedented: set a two-bird per day canvasback limit during
last duck season. Hunters may see that high limit last year, followed by
a population drop, and draw the obvious conclusion that canvasbacks were
overharvested last year.
"Not so fast," Phelps said. "Despite the two-bird
bag last year, harvest only increased 25 percent in North America, and
was 350,000 birds lower than was allowed by the USFWS's model. We're not
sure what's going on with canvasbacks, but we know we didn't shoot them
There is some suspicion that the birds have spread
out this year into more northerly areas, because the southern prairies
are so dry.
"Nothing explains this population drop except
missing birds on the survey. We know of no large-scale mortality, we had
no overharvest. These birds are apparently alive, but in unsurveyed areas,"
There is some evidence for this. The last time
canvasback populations dropped so quickly was 1978, and they immediately
rebounded in 1979, despite the season remaining open.
In addition, canvasback populations are strongly
correlated with redhead duck populations. Redhead populations hit a record
high this year. Why would canvasback populations drop while redhead populations
"That's the big question. There may be a ton of
canvasbacks out there that weren't counted this year. Next year's survey
should shed some light on this, but in the meantime, we must close the
canvasback season," Phelps said.
There are more changes for diving duck hunters.
The USFWS is requiring a reduction in scaup (bluebill) harvest this year
as well. This is despite the fact that scaup populations have been stable
since 2001, have increased 8 percent from last year (and 15 percent from
2006), and remain, at 3.74 million birds, the third most abundant duck
species in North America.
Most waterfowl experts will tell you that hunter
harvest has nothing to do with the decline in scaup numbers since the 1970s.
The decline is likely caused by a complex interaction of factors, including
habitat destruction and degradation in the boreal forest of Canada, plus
impacts from exotic parasites and pollutants.
"We will have a one bird daily bag for scaup this
year. It's too bad that the third most abundant duck on the continent has
been relegated to the status of 'mistake duck'." Though Indiana could have
a partial season with a two-scaup limit, Phelps said that the extra opportunity
is not worth the confusion on differential limits during different days.
"We don't take enough scaup in Indiana to make
that much difference to most hunters. I think it would be more of a headache
for hunters to keep one more regulatory complication straight," he said.
The scaup limit is complicated by the bird's close
resemblance to other species.
It's hard to tell scaup from ring-necked ducks
a lot of the time, and they often fly together over big water. The limit
on ring-necked ducks remains six per day, and the limit on redheads remains
at two per day-despite the fact that redheads, at a population of 1.06
million this year, are outnumbered by scaup in North America by more than
three to one.
Many waterfowl conservation groups oppose the
reduction in bag limit. Phelps said that further reductions in scaup harvest
are unlikely to contribute to the species recovery, and will only serve
to drive diving-duck hunters away from the sport.
Phelps said he's worried about the impacts that
the reduction will have on conservation.
"When you remove most of the opportunity to shoot
scaup, and close the canvasback season at the same time, those hunters
who have the specialized equipment to hunt big water for these birds just
aren't going to bother," he said. "That's sad, from a hunting tradition
standpoint, and affects northern states like Wisconsin and Minnesota much
more than Indiana. But think of the financial impact on habitat programs
when those folks don't buy duck stamps this year. We are driving our best
partners in diving duck conservation away from hunting."
Prohibits Live Coyote Sales (7-23-08)
Coyotes taken outside the regulated trapping and hunting seasons can no
longer be sold live as a result of an administrative rule change unanimously
adopted by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday [7-22-2008].
The administrative change clarifies gray area
that was being interpreted by some to allow live coyotes that were legally
trapped in Indiana to be sold across state lines for the purpose of being
used to train hunting dogs in penned facilities.
The decision, which requires approval of the attorney
general and Gov. Mitch Daniels, came at the bimonthly meeting of the NRC,
which has rule-making authority over the Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR is authorized by the state legislature
to set season dates and bag limits for hunting, trapping and fishing. The
coyote hunting and trapping season is Oct. 15 through March 15. A separate
state law allows landowners to take coyotes at any time on the land they
own, or provide written permission for others to take coyotes on that land.
The revision approved Tuesday clarifies that coyotes
taken outside the trapping and hunting seasons must be euthanized within
24 hours but will allow the sale of hides and parts.
Ohio and Kentucky asked the DNR to stop the live
trade market to avoid diseases from native Indiana coyotes being spread
to other states. Also, the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
recently passed a resolution opposing the practice.
The Indiana commission gave preliminary approval
to the amended rule in September. The DNR began accepting public comments
in November and received 1,900 comments and more than 1,000 signatures
on competing petitions.
In other matters, the commission approved the
appointment of Bradley D. Schneck as property manager at Jackson-Washington
State Forest/Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, and voted to name a portion
of the Grand Kankakee Marsh restoration project after long-time project
chair Dick Blythe.
Poacher Loses Hunting, Fishing Privileges For 5 Years(7-08-08)
BOONVILLE--Randall L. Voorhees Jr., 29, of Evansville
lost his fishing and hunting privileges and a lot more when he was sentenced
recently in Warrick Superior Court II on a charge of attempted illegal
sale of protected wildlife, a Class D felony.
The sentence stems from a guilty plea entered
by Voorhees for illegal fishing activity involving paddlefish.
Voorhees also received a suspended 18-month jail
sentence, 18 months supervised probation and a $10,000 fine. The court
suspended his hunting and fishing privileges for a period of five years.
In addition, the court ordered Voorhees’ 1991 GMC truck, boat and boat
trailer and all fishing gear seized as evidence forfeited to the Department
of Natural Resources.
He was one of 22 people arrested during “Operation
Skid Roe” on violations linked to the illegal marketing of protected paddlefish
in Indiana waters. Voorhees was charged after an investigation conducted
by Indiana Conservation Officers and Detectives along with U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service agents.
“Operation Skid Roe” was an investigation into
the poaching and illegal sale of paddlefish and the valuable eggs carried
by pregnant females. Paddlefish are protected in Indiana waters, which
led to the stiff penalty levied against Voorhees.
“This is a clear indication of the court system’s
view that poaching is a serious crime, and that the penalties levied by
a court can be severe,” DNR Director of Law Enforcement Col. Michael Crider
Criminal charges for attempted sale of protected
wildlife are pending against Voorhees in Posey County.
Smallmouth Alliance (6-03-08)
Indiana Smallmouth Alliance (INSA) is a growing
organization of avid anglers from throughout the state, focusing its attention
on the enjoyment and protection of the smallmouth bass and its habitat
in Indiana waters. It is part of a growing regional presence for critical
smallmouth bass initiatives in Great Lakes states, joining other Alliance
chapters in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri. Our mission:
* Protecting and enhancing quality habitat for
smallmouth bass through partnerships with various organizations including
funding for cleanups and habitat restorations, and to address siltation,
pollution and other issues that impact our waterways.
* Preserving the smallmouth fishery for future
* Educating others on the components that contribute
to a healthy watershed and the use of ethical fishing practices.
INSA has been very active in several important
areas. We have been working with various state and county entities to support
important smallmouth habitat related grant projects across the state. In
early summer 2007 our members contributed over $1,000 in in-kind contributions
to the Putnam County SWCD Big Walnut Creek watershed grant by documenting
land use and critical habitat issues along a 15-mile stretch of the creek.
We have also teamed with the Tippecanoe County SWCD by sponsoring and contributing
$2,000 toward a Clean Water Indiana (CWI) marketing grant, which will ultimately
put into place conservation buffers on 15-25 acres of property bordering
the branches of Wildcat Creek.
At present we are party to another CWI grant totaling
nearly $1 million currently in review which would put critical research
and habitat remediation on stretches of the Eel River in northern Indiana.
This grant is being written and supported by Manchester College.
The Indiana Smallmouth Alliance has also been
very active in sponsoring various fishery related conferences around the
state. We were a 'Gold' level sponsor of the 2006 Indiana Lakes Management
Society conference, as well as a sponsor of both the Non-Point Source Pollution
Conference and the Indiana Rivers Rally, both hosted by Hanover College.
Our Board members have also attended the 2006 North American Lakes Management
Society's International Symposium held in Indianapolis, IN., as well as
the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference and the Indiana Chapter of the
American Fisheries Society’s spring technical meeting. We currently maintain
paid affiliation with Friends of the White River, Indiana Wildlife Federation
and the Indiana Lakes Management Society.
For the past 2 years, members of the Indiana Smallmouth
Alliance have donated their time to helping kids get their first fishing
experience by volunteering at the Indiana State Fair IDNR fishing pond.
Members bait hooks, remove fish, repair tackle and assist in many other
ways to help nearly 20,000 kids who have participated in the program since
the construction of the new pond was completed back in 2006. Stocked with
bluegill and catfish, the pond has become one of the premier attractions
at the State Fair along with the indoor fish exhibit at the DNR Pavillion.
We have also hosted a fishing trade show, a kayak rigging demo day and
have plans for a fall rod building workshop.
At present, we are working with the Indiana
Dept. of Natural Resources and the Hoosier Riverwatch group to adopt several
sections of Indiana streams for cleanup as well as place smallmouth regulation
signs at popular access points across the state.
This fall we will be holding our 1st Annual Smallie
Stravaganza. The event will be open to the public and will include dinner,
two guest speakers, and lots of fishing related items for raffle.
We maintain our own website at www.indianasmallmouthalliance.org.
There you can find more information about the group and how to join, as
well as upcoming activities we have planned, purchase smallmouth related
logo items and even participate in our own discussion forum. The group
welcomes any person with a keen interest in smallmouth fishing and resource
protection and encompasses every facet of angling including fly-spin-baitcast
anglers, waders, kayakers, and tourney fishermen.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is
kicking off the boating season with a new safe boating campaign that promotes
life jacket use.
The “Wear IT, Indiana” promotion targets recreational
boaters and swimmers by encouraging the use of life jackets through a series
of TV commercials featuring messages from Indiana conservation officers.
The campaign coincides with National Safe Boating
Week (May 17-23) but carries a year-round message.
In 2006, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 474 drowning
deaths from motorboat accidents. Ninety percent of those victims
were not wearing life jackets. In that same year, Indiana reported six
boating fatalities with three victims not wearing life jackets. Indiana
had 27 other drowning fatalities in 2006 that were not boating related.
Less bulky, lighter weight materials and affordability
have made a difference in life jacket usage by Indiana conservation officers.
Traditional U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
are still legal, but a number of manufacturers offer reasonably priced
inflatable life jackets and belt packs that are comfortable and non-restricting.
They are available in a variety of colors, including camouflage. Prices
range from $50-$150. Float coats and jackets that provide more protection
from the elements and can act as a life jacket also are available, with
prices beginning around $150.
Indiana law requires that all watercraft 17 feet
and above in length be equipped with one wearable U.S. Coast Guard-approved
life jacket for each passenger on board and that the life jacket fits the
person who intends to wear it.