Volunteers are needed to help clean Monroe Lake’s shorelines, and they will be treated to a cookout for their efforts. The lake’s cleanup day will be October 6 starting at 1:30 p.m. Workers should meet at Cutright State Recreation Area, where they will be transported to different parts of the shoreline by boat. Work will last until 5:30 p.m. After the shoreline cleanup work is completed, there will be a free thank you cookout at Cutright SRA.

Advance registration is required by Oct. 4 at bit.ly/monroeshoreline2019 (in the upper right-hand corner) because space on the boats is limited to 80 volunteers. All volunteers must be at least 10 years old, and workers ages 10-17 must be accompanied by a registered adult.

The annual shoreline cleanup is coordinated by Monroe County Stormwater Services, Hoosier National Forest, City of Bloomington Utilities Department, Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, and the Friends of Lake Monroe, in partnership with Monroe Lake.

For more information about the cleanup, contact Monroe Lake’s interpretive naturalist, Jill Vance, jvance@dnr.IN.gov or 812-837-9967. Monroe Lake (on.IN.gov/monroelake) is at 4850 South State Road 446, Bloomington, 47401.

Monroe Lake Aquatic Habitat Project

DNR fisheries biologists have concluded a two-year project designed to improve aquatic habitat in Monroe Lake. Monroe Lake was the fourth lake selected for habitat improvement through the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Reservoir Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Program (RAHEP).

Approximately 300 habitat structures were dropped into Monroe Lake in a 17-acre area to provide fish with a place to feed and hide from predators. Current structure locations may be found at wildlife.IN.gov/files/fw-monroe-habitat-map.pdf.

The habitat structures were placed in 7 to 14 feet of water during the summer. Four different types of structures were used for the project. Each was designed for different fish species, fish life stages, and water depths.

Habitat structures were built with the help of volunteers and donations from businesses in the area. Five volunteer build events were hosted during which volunteers donated more than 150 hours of time to the project. Wooden pallets, drainage tile, and concrete blocks were donated to the project by Cook Medical, Advanced Drainage Systems, and Jones and Sons Concrete and Masonry Products.

RAHEP provides fish habitat in reservoirs where natural structure is lacking. Since RAHEP’s inception in 2015, more than 750 habitat structures have been placed in three project lakes. Projects have also been conducted at Sullivan Lake and Cecil M. Harden.

Planning has already begun for the next RAHEP project, which will take place at Patoka Lake starting this winter.

Salamonie Lake Trapping Camp

Salamonie Lake and Indiana Conservation Officers will host a Trappers Education Course on Oct. 5 and 6 at the Salamonie Interpretive Center. The program will focus on trappers of all ages, especially youth trappers.

The program will start on October 5 at 9 a.m. with speakers on conservation, trapping issues, ethics, and regulations. After lunch, trappers will get to set traps for furbearers and accompany instructors on the trap line. Traps will be left overnight and checked the next day.

On October 6 at 9 a.m., trappers will accompany instructors to check traps on the trap line. The furbearers caught will be used in skinning and fleshing demonstrations by instructors. The program will end by 4:30 p.m. each day.

Free camping is available for all course attendees on October 4 and 5 at the Lost Bridge West Youth Campground, which is within walking distance of the Interpretive Center. Trappers will not need a trapping license to attend the program. Entrance fees will be waived for all participants. Lunch is provided both days.

The program is free for participants, but advance registration by Oct. 1 is required. To register online, visit register-ed.com/programs/indiana/ or call Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at 260-468-2127.

Trappers may want to bring waterproof knee boots or waders to wear on the trap line and will need to dress for the weather. Trappers must attend both days of the course and complete a brief exam to receive DNR Trapper Education Certification.

The Salamonie Interpretive Center is located in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area, west of State Road 105 in western Huntington County.

NRC Approves New Nature Preserve

The Natural Resources Commission (NRC), during its regularly scheduled bi-monthly meeting on September 17 at Fort Harrison State Park, approved the creation of a new nature preserve, Perfect Lake Nature Preserve. The action increases to 289 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act.

Perfect Lake Nature Preserve contains 84.05 acres in Steuben County near Fish Creek. The majority of the property occupies a prominent esker (a long, narrow steep-sided gravel ridge) offers great vistas over the lake. The upland forest is relatively young pioneer to early successional mesic forest. About 25 percent of the property consists of Perfect Lake and adjoining wetlands. It is owned by and under the administration of ACRES Land Trust.

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

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