Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 19, 2014

Spaulding Outdoors--turkeys, fish, hosts

The Inside on Indiana's Outside


Greensburg Daily News

---- — Last Chance For Reserved Turkey Hunts

Time is running out for submitting online applications for reserved turkey hunts to be held on certain state and federally owned properties. The application period runs through March 24 at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5834.htm.

New for 2014, DNR will offer a reserved hunt at Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in southwestern Indiana.

Hunters must possess a valid 2014 spring turkey license, or lifetime license or youth hunt/trap license to apply for any of the reserved hunts. Applicants are allowed to apply for one property, and choose from the available dates for the property.

Whether a drawn hunter may bring along a hunting buddy varies by property. On DNR properties, drawn hunters are not allowed to bring a buddy. At Muscatatuck National Willdlife Refuge, drawn hunters may bring a buddy, but only the drawn hunter may hunt. At Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, a buddy is required.

Hunt dates and properties are as follows:

• Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge: April 23-24, 25-26, 27-28, and 29-30.

• Deer Creek, Glendale, J.E. Roush, Jasper-Pulaski, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac fish & wildlife areas; Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes; and Aukiki Wetland Conservation Area: April 23-25, 26-27, 28-30, and May 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-11.

• Atterbury, Chinook, Crosley, Fairbanks Landing, Hillenbrand, Hovey Lake and Minnehaha fish & wildlife areas, and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge: April 23-25, 26-28.

• Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area: April 23-25, 26-27.

Winter Fish Kills

Owners of shallow ponds and lakes, especially in northern Indiana, should watch for fish kills this spring. Considering the record or near-record snowfall and ice up to 20 inches thick on lakes and ponds, Indiana fisheries biologists anticipate numerous reports of fish kills once the bodies of water thaw.

The most common cause of fish kills in Indiana ponds is lack of oxygen. Aquatic plants produce oxygen only when sunlight is available. While some sunlight penetrates clear ice, snow can block sunlight, resulting in dangerously low oxygen levels.

Shallow, weedy ponds are more susceptible to winter kills. As aquatic plants naturally die during winter, plant decomposition consumes the oxygen fish and other aquatic life need. Once a winter kill begins, little can be done to stop it. Drilling holes in the ice will not help.

Pond owners who experience a fish kill or need advice on other pond-related issues can refer to Indiana’s Pond Management Booklet at wildlife.IN.gov/3356.htm.

Biologists do not expect significant fish kills at deep natural lakes and reservoirs. The exception could be winter kills of gizzard shad, a species vulnerable to prolonged cold weather. Because the species is prolific and fast growing, shad losses do not have a lasting impact on shad populations.

Lake residents and anglers who observe significant fish kills on public waters should contact their district fisheries biologist. Contact information is in the 2014 Fishing Regulation Guide or at wildlife.IN.gov/3590.htm.

Hosts Needed At Indiana State Parks

Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs are looking for volunteers to serve as campground hosts in exchange for free camping during their service.

Hosts work a minimum of 20 hours per week. The volunteer period varies at sites, based on the number of applicants and the amount and type of work required.

Properties looking for hosts to volunteer in April are Turkey Run, Indiana Dunes, Potato Creek and Spring Mill state parks.

Raccoon State Recreation Area is looking for a host to volunteer June 29 through Aug. 3, the entire length or in two-week periods.

Properties are looking for dedicated campers who enjoy working outdoors, with people and with DNR staff. A complete list of site availability and detailed information about hosting duties is at stateparks.IN.gov/2404.htm . Campers interested may also contact the property they desire.

Completion of a volunteer application is required to apply. Download a volunteer application form at stateparks.IN.gov/2443.htm

‘till next time,

Jack

Readers with questions or comments may contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net or by writing to him in care of this publication.