Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Public meeting on paddlefish fishing changes, May 20

The Natural Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed administrative rule changes related to paddlefish and fishing on the Ohio River, Wednesday, May 20, at 6 p.m. local time (EDT), at Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area, 2310 East State Road 364 in Winslow, in Pike County.

The primary purpose of these changes, which were proposed by the Department of Natural Resources, are to protect paddlefish and prevent their overharvest. Paddlefish are long-lived, slow-maturing smooth-skinned fish with a long paddle-like snout that can reach sizes in excess of 100 pounds. They are highly mobile but their largest populations are in the Ohio River, which is the only Indiana location where commercial harvest is permitted. In recent years, commercial demand for paddlefish has escalated because of the value of their eggs for the worldwide caviar market.

The proposed changes were preliminarily adopted by the NRC and are listed at, immediately after the list of proposed deer-hunting changes, listed on “Paddlefish Rule Package.”

E-mail public comments to the NRC at:, including name and city and state of residence. Comments also can be mailed to: Natural Resources Commission, Indiana Government Center North, 100 North Senate Ave., Room N501, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2200.

All comments must be submitted to the NRC no later than Monday, June 1. All comments sent to the NRC regarding these rule changes will be provided to NRC members and DNR staff, and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report.

A copy of this public hearing report will be at before final consideration by the NRC. The NRC will likely consider these rule changes for final adoption at its meeting in July. If approved by the attorney general and governor, the changes will become effective later in 2009. Individuals who need reasonable modifications for effective participation in public meetings should call the DNR ADA coordinator at (317) 232-4200 (voice and TDD).

For more information, please contact Tom Stefanavage, the DNR’s Big Rivers Biologist, at (812)789-2724 or by e-mail at:

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