Owners of private ponds and lakes can now find more resources for managing the areas and adding aquatic structures to them on DNR’s updated website at wildlife.IN.gov/3614.htm. Pond owners will now find information and links to content about pond construction, where to purchase fish to stock, nuisance wildlife concerns, fish kills and other common issues.

There are more than 40,000 private ponds and lakes in Indiana, many of which are stocked with fish by landowners and used for recreation. With spring weather, many are starting to think about their ponds and potential maintenance and improvements.

“The majority of questions we receive from private pond owners pertain to fish kills, advice on fish stocking, or aquatic plant management including nuisance algae,” said Corey DeBoom, DNR fisheries biologist for central Indiana. “The answers to most of the common questions can now be found on our updated pond management webpage.”

Information about constructing artificial habitat for ponds or lakes has also been added. Artificial structures can provide places for fish to hide, eat, or spawn and may help reduce impacts of fish-eating predators. Structures can be as simple as cutting and felling shoreline trees, but a variety of structure options are highlighted for pond owners to consider.

Questions from the public regarding private ponds or lakes can be answered by district fisheries biologists. Media questions regarding private pond management in specific regions can also be answered by district fisheries biologists. Contact information for your area’s biologist may be found online at wildlife.IN.gov/3590.htm.

DNR Properties Resume Entrance Fees

Turkey Run, Shades and Indiana Dunes state parks, and Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas resumed collecting entrance fees May 9. All other DNR properties will resume charging entrance fees no later than May 15. A full breakdown of entrance and other fees may be found online at stateparks.IN.gov/5062.htm.

Regarding other imminent changes:

• Equestrian and mountain bike trails will open, for day use only as of Monday, May 11.

• Day-use restrooms and vault toilets will open at DNR properties by May 15. Until then, guests should come prepared for restroom use to be restricted.

• Nature Centers and historic facilities in state parks properties will open the week of May 11; however, hours may be reduced, and social distancing may limit the number of guests allowed in the respective facility at one time.

• Marinas will open the week of May 11, with limited operations.

• The Fort Golf Course is open, and the golf pro shop at Fort Harrison State Park reopened the week of May 11, with self-service cart rental available with a limit of one person per cart.

A complete status list for facilities and services at DNR properties is at on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19.

Guests at DNR properties should remember the following when visiting:

• Practice social distancing at all times, particularly, as you hike, picnic or use boat ramps. Keep a minimum of 6 feet from other individuals you encounter, for your safety and theirs.

• Keep your group size small – fewer than 25 individuals is ideal.

• Bring your own drinking water and hand sanitizer.

• If you picnic, bring and use a covering for your picnic table and take it with you when you leave.

• If a parking lot is full, move to another location.

• If you feel sick or are running a temperature, plan a visit for a different day for the safety of other guests.

Fish Identification

Back a lot of years, getting the DNR to help you identify a catch usually meant a trip to the nearest fish hatchery or fishery biologist’s office. I know… years ago, been there and done that! Thankfully, it’s a lot easier now!

When you catch something you don’t recognize and need help identifying the species? The Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife can help. Just download the fish identification form at https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/9448.htm to submit a request and email a photo or video of the catch.

Completion of the form is voluntary. Data submitted may be shared within DNR and partners at the discretion of DNR staff. Personal information will be used to process your observation and may also be used for participation in surveys and other secondary purposes. A fisheries biologist may contact you with questions about your observation or to set up a site visit to verify authenticity details of any photos submitted.

What we’re looking for in fish ID photos:

A picture of the entire fish with something in the picture to reference size (e.g., ruler, coin)

Close up of any unique features of the fish.

Please email photos to fishid@dnr.IN.gov in medium size .jpeg file format. Videos should be in one of the following formats; .mp4, wmv or .mov and less than 10 MB in size.

Readers can contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net

Recommended for you