Jack Spaulding

The 2022 Waterfowl Workshop for Waterfowl Control Operators (WCOs) will take place noon to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25. The workshop will be held virtually. The workshop is required for all contractors who want to become qualified as WCOs to conduct waterfowl trapping, transporting, relocation and/or euthanasia for hire in Indiana during 2022.

All first-time WCOs must attend the workshop to be eligible to work as a WCO in 2022. Attendance is also encouraged for all WCOs, but individuals who have attended the workshop in previous years may opt to test out. Individuals interested in taking the test should contact Debbie Walter at dwalter@dnr.IN.gov or 812-789-2724. The 2022 exam will be available Feb. 1.

Employees of WCO contractors are welcome to attend the workshop, but it is required only for individuals who will physically conduct waterfowl trapping, transporting, relocating, and/or euthanizing for hire.

Individuals pursuing qualifying status for goose euthanasia for the first time will also need to provide the division with a certificate of attendance to the Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA) goose management course or complete a Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) approved eight-hour equivalent goose course. Before any waterfowl management activities may legally be conducted, WCOs must ensure the DFW has received all necessary paperwork.

Registration by Jan. 17 is required to participate in the virtual workshop. Once registered, participants will be provided the webinar link and training materials. To register or for more information, contact Jessica Merkling, Urban Wildlife Biologist, at jmerkling@dnr.IN.gov or 260-244-6805.

Ice Hikes At Turkey Run SP

Turkey Run State Park is bringing back its ice hikes in 2022. They will be offered each Saturday and Sunday in January and February beginning Jan. 8 with exception of Jan. 29 and 30 which are the dates of the park’s Eagles in Flight weekend. All hikes will begin at 11 a.m. and last until approximately 12:30 p.m.

Hikers will have four options. Naturalists will lead participants through Rocky Hollow and the Punchbowl, Box Canyon and Gypsy Gulch, the Ice Box and Bear Hollow, or Turkey Run Hollow and the canyon along Trail 7. Advance registration for the popular hikes may be completed at turkeyrunicehike.eventbrite.com.

Boot spikes will be available for free during the hikes if needed. Participants need to be able to lift both legs to a 90-degree angle. The spikes are also available to rent throughout the winter from the Nature Center for $3 for two hours, and adult and youth sizes are available. A naturalist will be available to help hikers put the spikes on.

The hikes and routes are subject to change due to weather. Standard park entrance fees of $7 per in-state vehicle and $9 per out-of-state vehicle apply. Turkey Run State Park (on.IN.gov/turkeyrunsp) is at 8121 East Park Rd. Marshall, Indiana 47859.

2022 LARE Application Deadline

The deadline for submitting Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) applications for 2022 projects is Jan. 15, 2022. The LARE program strives to protect and enhance aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife while ensuring the continued viability of Indiana’s publicly accessible lakes, rivers, and streams. The program accomplishes the protection and enhancement through measures reducing non-point sediment and nutrient pollution.

Technical and financial assistance for qualifying projects is provided to applicants through the LARE program. Wetland enhancement, streambank stabilization, and logjam removal are just a few projects LARE funds may be awarded for. To view a full list of qualifying project types, along with additional information about LARE, see lare.dnr.IN.gov.

Applications must be completed and submitted electronically.

Three DNR Shooting Ranges Increase Fees

Beginning, Jan. 1, 2022, the fee structures at Kingsbury Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA), J.E. Roush Lake FWA, and Deer Creek FWA shooting ranges are changing.

The new fees are:

  • Deer Creek FWA: Rifles and pistols will be $5/day or $2/day for youth under 18. An annual pass will not be available in 2022.
  • J.E. Roush Lake FWA: Rifles and pistols will be $5/day. An annual pass will be available for $100. Fees for youth under 18 will be $2/day. The shotgun range will remain $5/round.
  • Kingsbury FWA: Rifles and pistols will be $5/day. An annual pass will be available for $100. Fees for youth under 18 will be $2/day.

On all properties, youth shooters must be accompanied by an adult.

The Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) currently operates 12 shooting ranges around the state. Atterbury and Willow Slough FWAs have modern shooting ranges run by concessionaires, Kingsbury, J.E. Roush Lake, and Deer Creek FWAs have modern shooting ranges self-operated by DFW staff, and seven other DFW properties have traditional ranges run by DFW staff. For more information on DNR shooting ranges, including hours, please see on.IN.gov/dnrshootingranges.

Firewood Permits For Mississinewa Lake

The public is invited to cut certain downed trees at Mississinewa Lake for firewood. Trees eligible for firewood have fallen as a result of natural causes or have been dropped by property staff. They are along roadsides or in public areas such as campsites and picnic areas.

Permit sales begin Jan. 3 and end March 31. The cost of one pickup-truck load is $10. All proceeds will be used for resource management and restoration efforts, including replacement of trees in campgrounds and other public areas.

A firewood permit must be obtained for each load at the park office between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily at the Mississinewa Lake office or gatehouse. Permits are not available on observed state holidays. Wood may be cut and removed between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call 765-473-6528.

Firewood cut at Mississinewa Lake is for personal use only and may not be sold. Mississinewa Lake (on.IN.gov/mississinewalake) is at 4673 S. 625 E. Peru, Indiana.

‘till next time,

Jack

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

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com

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