Jack Spaulding

Some selected Indiana State Park properties will close temporarily for controlled deer management hunts in the coming weeks.

Each hunt runs two days with the first hunt and park closure taking place on Monday, Nov. 15, and Tuesday, Nov. 16. The second hunt and park closure is on Monday, Nov. 29, and Tuesday, Nov. 30. The participating state park properties will close to the general public on the evening before each of the hunts.

Participating state park properties are Chain O’Lakes, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial state parks, as well as Cave River Valley Natural Area and Trine State Recreation Area.

The state park properties will re-open the morning after each two-day hunt. All other Indiana state park properties will be open and operate under normal hours.

Indiana DNR biologists evaluate which state park properties require a deer management hunt each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to numerous natural communities serving as significant habitat. The deer management hunts help control browsing by deer to a level ensuring habitat for native plants and animals.

Only individuals selected from the draw may participate at any site.

DNR Offers Free Admission For Veterans & Military Nov. 11

All veterans and active-duty military personnel and everyone in their vehicle will be admitted free to DNR state parks, reservoir properties, state forest recreation areas and state off-road vehicle riding areas on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11. It also includes admission to Falls of the Ohio State Park’s Interpretive Center.

“We appreciate the sacrifices and service of our veterans and active-duty military and look forward to recognizing them with a day to explore some of the best outdoor places in our state,” said Terry Coleman, director of Indiana State Parks.

Veterans and military personnel should present ID or evidence of military service where entrance gates are in operation. For proof of military status, gate attendants will accept:

Discharge papers (veteran’s DD Form 214)

Veteran license plates: Ex-POW, Purple Heart, Disabled Hoosier Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor. Veteran license plates also include: Air Force Veteran; Army Veteran; Coast Guard Veteran; Marine Corps Veteran; Merchant Marine Veteran; Navy Veteran; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Disability Award Letter; Veterans hunting and fishing license; Documents showing veteran benefits with veteran’s name on document; Any other certificate or verification letter or form establishing past or present military service.

Flooding Affects J.E. Roush Lake FWA

Extensive rains have led to flooding concerns at J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA), affecting recreational access.

J.E. Roush Lake FWA staff and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers management have been working together to maintain the safety of the public. The following areas have been affected by recent rain and are anticipated to stay closed until flooding recedes:

The Kil-So-Quah campground has been evacuated and closed until further notice.

The north boat ramp is currently underwater and inaccessible to water-based recreationists. Visitors should use the south boat ramp as an alternative access point. It is located off Division Road, south of the reservoir.

Some roads and gates near the river are closed due to unsafe driving conditions. Visitors are encouraged to avoid the area north of the intersection of 100 S and 300 E.

It is unknown how long water levels will remain an issue. For the most up-to-date information on property conditions, call the property office at 260-468-2165.

Patoka Lake Tranquility Hike

Patoka Lake is hosting a naturalist-led Tranquility Hike at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13. The hike will begin at the Nature Center on Trail 4 and is ¾ mile long. The focus of the hike will be reflection and quiet. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call the Patoka Lake Nature Center at 812-685-2447.

Patoka Lake (on.IN.gov/patokalake) is at 3084 N. Dillard Road, Birdseye, IN 47513. For more information regarding the program or other interpretive events, call the Nature Center at 812-685-2447.

Rainbow Trout For Fayette Co. Lake

The Indiana DNR, working in conjunction with the Connersville Parks Department, planned to stock 1,000 rainbow trout an average of more than 7 inches long into Smalley’s Lake on Nov. 2. The trout for the fall stocking are surplus fish produced by the Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station, a DNR facility in LaGrange County.

The DNR also stocks Smalley’s Lake annually with channel catfish; however, fishing opportunities for other species are somewhat limited by the lake’s low nutrient levels. The trout stocking is being done to increase fishing opportunities at the lake when most native fish are reducing their activity due to falling water temperatures.

Smalley’s Lake is at the southern edge of Connersville in Fayette County on the east side of State Road 121 within the John Conner Nature Preserve Trail Park as shown on the DNR’s Where to Fish interactive map at on.IN.gov/where2fish.

For more information on the lake, contact the Connersville Parks Department at 765-825-5244 or parks@connersvillein.gov.

An Indiana fishing license and trout stamp are required to harvest trout, and both can be purchased at on.IN.gov/INhuntfish. There is a 7-inch minimum length limit and a daily bag limit of five trout. There is no closed season for taking trout from inland lakes.

‘till next time,

Jack

Readers can contact Jack Spaulding by writing to this publication, or e-mail to jackspaulding@hughes.net.

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