Sports and Outdoors

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop, May 1-3

Indiana DNR Release:

Women with an interest in learning outdoors skills take note: Registration is underway for the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s 2009 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop.

BOW offers women a relaxed, non-competitive environment conducive for learning outdoor skills in a workshop is designed just for women.

The workshop will be held May 1-3, at Ross Camp in West Lafayette. The cost for the workshop, including four classes, lodging and meals, is $175.

The workshop is limited to 150 women. Registration is already half full for this popular program. Register online at or by calling Danielle Shrake at (317) 232-4194.

Walleye on the Maumee

Fishing for Walleye on the Maumee River in Ohio last Saturday seemed like a good idea, but apparently not a unique idea...

(Submitted Photo)

Fish management activities at area lakes

Indiana DNR Release:

A group of lake residents and anglers have developed a long-range plan to improve fishing quality at seven natural lakes north of Columbia City, working in partnership with the Indiana DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation (TWF).
Known collectively as UTRLA, the Upper Tippecanoe River Lakes Association, the group met six times since last fall to review the status of fishing conditions at Big, Crane, Crooked, Goose, Loon, New, and Old lakes, and to foster and promote consensus-driven actions.

In general, the group rated bluegill fishing as good at Big, Goose, New and Old lakes but bluegill size as poor at Crane, Crooked, and Loon. Each lake was thought to have ample numbers of bass but group members wanted to see more big bass.
“We have a general idea of the quality of fishing at each lake but we need current information, so the first thing we are going to do is conduct a series of surveys this year,” said Jed Pearson, DFW fisheries biologist.
Once the surveys are complete, UTRLA and the DFW will compare the results this fall with management targets set earlier by the group and identify where improvements are needed.
Future actions will likely focus on habitat protection, changes in fishing rules, control of invasive species, and public educational programs.

Survey Schedule:

Fish sampling will get underway at the UTRLA lakes in late April and early May, when biologists assess bass populations in each lake with electro-shocker boats. Targeted sampling for bluegills will take place in early June.

“Sampling these two species at these times will give us the best picture of their number and size,” said Rod Edgell, another DFW biologist.
In mid- to late June, Pearson and Edgell will conduct additional electro-shocking, and set nets and traps in each lake to assess the entire fish population, including all species.
“We’ll look at the balance between predator fish and prey fish, check out the numbers of non-game species, look for infestations of carp or other nuisance species, and get an overall picture of the health of the fish community,” Pearson said.

Beginning in mid-May and lasting through August, fisheries personnel will periodically be stationed at each lake to count and interview anglers, as well as to examine their catch.

“The fishing surveys will let us know how many fish are caught by anglers, what size of fish are caught, how anglers rate fishing at each lake, and whether the lakes are meeting the target objectives set by the group,” Edgell said.

A summary report of the findings will be published next winter.

Fishing and Lawn Care Seminar, April 14

UTRLA will host a fishing seminar called "Knowledge—The Key to Fishing Succcess" on Tuesday evening, April 14, at the Big Lake Church of God, north of Columbia City. The event is free and open to the public.

The guest speaker is John Bales, education director of the Northern Indiana Spoonpluggers. Bales will explain spoonplugging, a highly successful method of fishing in northern Indiana lakes, and demonstrate spoonplugging equipment, which can be especially effective at catching bass and muskies.
The seminar is at 7 p.m., and also will include a session on lawn care for lake residents called "Caring for Your Lawn Without Ruining Your Lake." The session will be presented by Jerry Hohla, a soil scientist, water quality specialist, and fly fisherman.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What to do if you find a baby or injured animal

Indiana DNR Release:

It's the time of year when thousands of animals are born in the wild. With the spread of suburban areas into animals' natural habitats, many people find baby wild animals that appear to be alone. Thinking the animals are orphaned, hurt, abandoned or lost, well-meaning individuals sometimes “rescue” them.

Doing so is not only usually unnecessary, it’s bad for the animal. It’s illegal if you don’t have the proper permit. And it poses health risks for humans.
With more and more suburban areas being built close to natural areas, young animals are increasingly born near humans and discovered without an adult animal nearby, so a few reminders are especially pertinent.

"The apparent lack of an adult does not mean a young animal is alone," said Linnea Petercheff, operations staff specialist for the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife division. "Adults often leave their young alone, safe in nests or dens while they forage for food, but rarely do they abandon their young."

If a bird has fallen out of a nest, it is OK to gently return it to the nest. The best way to make sure an animal is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically. If you are unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. If such items are later disturbed, the mother has returned. In such a situation, leave the young animal alone. The adult will return after you leave the area.
Personal safety is another consideration. While such animals may look helpless, cute and cuddly, they can bite or scratch people who attempt to handle them. Some wild animals can carry parasites and infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans.

Remember, state laws prohibit owning protected wild animals without a permit. Federal laws also prohibit the possession of migratory birds, including songbirds, raptors and waterfowl. It is even illegal to treat wild animals for sickness or injury without a permit. Wild animal rehabilitation permits are issued to qualified individuals who take in sick, injured, or orphaned wild animals with the intent of releasing them back into the wild.

If you encounter an injured, truly abandoned or sick wild animal, do one of the following for assistance:

- Call the DNR/USDA Wildlife Information Hotline, 1-800-893-4116, during business hours.

- Check the DNR/USDA-Wildlife Services Web site, and click on "Wildlife Conflicts Hotline" or go to

- Call the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife in Indianapolis, (317) 232-4080.

- Call your DNR law enforcement district headquarters or regional headquarters; contact information is at:

- Call a licensed veterinarian for immediate assistance with a sick or severely injured wild animal.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fishing Derbies and WILD Class coming in June

Kid's Fishing Derbies will be held on June 6
Children ages two to 14 are welcome to participate in on of the Fishing Derbies at the three Upper Wabash Reservoirs — Roush Lake, Salamonie Lake, and Mississinewa Lake — June 6 during the statewide Free Fishing Weekend. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with fishing from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Award ceremonies will follow.
Children will be divided into age catagories two to five, six to 10 and 11 to 14. Each child will go home with a prize. Children should pre-register for the free events by callling 260-468-2127.

WILD training class will be held on June 20
The Upper Wabash Inerpretive Service will sponsor Project WILD training workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 20 at Salamonie Reservoir's Interpretive Center. There is a $2 per person fee.
During the workshop home educators and leaders will take home two books full of well-researched and easy to use indoor and outdoor learning activities about wildlife and the environment to use with their youth.
For more information call 260-468-2127 or visit the Web site.

Hunter Education Course coming up

Hunter Education Course April 13-15
The dates for the Hunter Education Course are April 13, 14 and 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wells Community 4-H Building.
The course is offered at no charge. Instructors will be ICO Kenny Wireman, Darrell Reynolds, Mike and Jodi Pinkerton, Rich Falk, Rick Bergman and Tracy Myers.
For pre-registration and more information call 260-824-0692. Those under age 16 must be accompanied by a guardian. Attendance at all classes is required for certification.

Trap and Skeet Shoot Contest

Trap and Skeet shoot planned for April 12, 26
The South West Conservation Club, located at 5703 Bluffton Road, will sponsor a Trap and Skeet Shoot April 12 and 26 from 12:30 p.m. to close. For more information call 260-747-4677.

Archery Shoot Next Weekend (April 5)

3-D Archery Shoot will be held April 5 and 19
The South West Conservation Club, located at 5703 Bluffton Road, will sponsor a 3-D Archery Shoot April 5 and April 19, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information call 260-747-4677.

Mushroom season: YUM!

Mushroom program offered on April 4
The Upper Wabash Interpretive Services is gearing up for the mushroom season with a program Saturday, April 4 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
The program will include an informative talk, taste of mushroom bread and a hike to scout for mushroom habitat clues. Participants will also receive a book. Cost is $10 per person. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required by calling 260-468-2127.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DNR awards funds to treat lakes

Indiana DNR Release:

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has awarded funding totaling $1.33 million to 36 projects to protect and restore Indiana lakes in 15 counties.

The funds come from the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife and will be used on 46 different lakes around the state.

"This is one state program that returns money to taxpayers on a local level, where they can see their money at work and reap the direct benefits," said Robert E. Carter Jr., director of the DNR . "Governor Daniels expects all agencies to use taxpayer funds wisely and LARE-funded projects serve as an investment with associated ecological, recreational, and economic benefits from protecting one of Indiana’s most valuable assets—our lakes and rivers."

Funding comes from the LARE fee paid by boat owners based on the value of each boat, with one-third of the money slated for use by the DNR for lake projects that remove sediment or control exotic or invasive plants or animals. The remainder is split between traditional LARE projects that seek to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs to waterbodies and the DNR's Division of Law Enforcement for boating-related programs.

"This year's awards provide needed funds to address the continuing threat of invasive plant species to Indiana lakes. Reducing the spread of certain aquatic invasive species can prevent devastating ecological and economic consequences on the lakes," said Jim Ray, chief of the DNR’s LARE program.

In 2009, the program received applications for invasive plant management projects totaling more than $2 million and was able to provide $568,040 in grants to survey and treat exotic invasive plants in 40 lakes. In addition, the LARE program will cover up to $425,000 for the third year of whole-lake fluridone treatments to eradicate hydrilla in Lake Manitou. No funding could be awarded for 45 lakes that requested a state grant. For the second year in a row, no new plans were funded in order to complete treatment cycles for lakes already in the program.

Ray noted that highest priorities for LARE included eradication of new exotic species introductions of hydrilla in Lake Manitou in Fulton County, Brazilian elodea in Griffy Lake in Monroe County, and parrot feather (a type of milfoil) in Meserve Lake in Steuben County. Also funded was follow-up control of other invasive species in those lakes; follow-up control for lakes previously funded for whole-lake fluridone treatments and one new fluridone treatment; and maintenance treatments in lakes with new 2008-12 management plans and other lakes that have received past funding in two years or fewer.

The other type of grant, for sediment removal, provides positive recreational and economic benefits to both users and residents of the affected lakes. A total of $339,989 will be distributed in three counties to six sediment removal projects involving nine Indiana lakes. These projects are extremely expensive to complete without state assistance to local entities.

Division of State Parks and Reservoirs awards

Indiana DNR Release:

Indiana DNR Division of State Parks and Reservoirs has recognized the contributions of staff and partners with annual excellence awards. Awards were presented by DNR deputy director John Davis and Dan Bortner, director of the division.

State Parks and Reservoirs Partnership Award to the Rockville Rotary Club and the Friends of Turkey Run State Park for their contributions of funding and construction assistance for a new park amphitheater.

State Parks and Reservoirs Partnership Award to Pioneer Oil Company for making significant visual improvements to the structures they maintain in Harmonie State Park, and for purchasing equipment and supplies for events.

Partnership and Volunteers Award to all businesses and individuals who helped bring the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall to Whitewater Memorial State Park in September 2008.

Volunteer of the Year Award to Dinah Fuller (Bloomfield, Ind.) for her efforts of volunteerism at Shakamak and Pokagon state parks.

Volunteer of the Year Award to Paul Olliges (Louisville, Ky.), who has played an integral role at Falls of the Ohio State Park since its inception leading hikes, assisting with fund raising and training volunteers.

Innovation and Leadership Award to Mounds State Park property manager James Davis and his staff for their work with the pool renovation and splash park and problem solving in resource management, maintenance, interpretation and other tasks resulting in a creative and effective solution to a challenge.

Property Achievement Award to the staff members of Spring Mill State Park for their successful efforts in renovating the Butternut restroom.

Tulip Tree Award (the division’s highest individual service award) to Christie Wilmoth, central reservation system specialist with the division, for directing and supervising complex, multilayered issues and processes in DNR’s current business model … and another Tulip Tree Award (the division’s highest individual service award) to Larry Ahlersmeyer, Summit Lake State Park property manager, for his heroic efforts in saving an ice fisherman this past winter.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Property owners, anglers can help spot aquatic invaders

Indiana DNR Release:

Lakefront property owners and anglers are being called upon to help stop the spread of invasive, non-native aquatic plants into lakes by being on the lookout for them.
Identifying and reporting these plants to local lake associations, conservation organizations, and appropriate state officials may help stop them from spreading further and causing more damage to lakes.
Non-native aquatic plants damage lakes by spreading more rapidly than native plants, disrupting lake ecology, creating nuisance conditions and interfering with recreational use of lakes.

Doug Keller, aquatic invasive species coordinator with the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife, said that organizations like the Indiana Lakes Management Society (ILMS) help greatly with this effort.
“If detected early, efforts to stop the spread of invasive plants can be less costly and more effective,” said Ed Spanopoulos, ILMS president. “We can serve as a source of people who locate new invaders and help participate in early responses to control them.”

We do not know how many non-native plants are in Indiana lakes nor everywhere they are spreading. Costs to control invasive species could be staggering.

The recent appearance of hydrilla in Lake Manitou in Rochester has already cost the state more than $700,000 in control efforts and forced closings of public boat ramps to prevent its spread to other waters. The total cost at Manitou to eradicate the plant is expected to approach $1.5 million.
Since 2006, DFW biologists have stepped up efforts to inspect lakes at risk of hydrilla, but they can't be everywhere, so they need help from private citizens.
“We don’t have an official early detection program in place,” Keller said. “As you can imagine, not every puddle of water can be inspected. That’s how local folks can help.”

Keller said the most important thing that can be done in advance of new invasive plants showing up in a lake is to identify and organize people who should be involved and making sure that they know what to look for.
“That’s where our ILMS members can help,” Spanopoulos said. “We have folks who live at the lakes, are on the water all the time, and are trained to spot non-native species.”
Spanopoulos says ILMS plans to research other organizations to determine what role their members may play in assisting with the early detection and prevention programs .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scholastics archery state tournament, April 3

Indiana DNR Release:

Indiana’s third annual National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state tournament is April 3 at Horizon Convention Center in Muncie.

This year’s tournament will have 29 schools participating with more than 600 students competing for the top honors. Last year, more than 470 students representing 22 schools participated. This is third straight year of increased participation.

Doors open at 7 a.m. Flight times are 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. A shoot-off will be held after the second flight, with the six top scoring shooters, both male and female, to determine the overall individual winners in each of three grade classifications. The grade classifications are grades 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12. An awards ceremony will conclude the event. There is no charge for admission.

The Indiana Field Archery Association will run the tournament, assisted by many volunteers and Indiana DNR conservation officers. The Indiana Hunter Education Association (IHEA) is the underwriting sponsor.

Supported as a joint venture between school corporations throughout Indiana and the DNR, NASP provides international target archery training in Indiana’s physical educational classes, grades 4-12. NASP supports student education and introduces many life skills through the lifelong sport of archery.

“It is our hope that this will lead to many new indoor and outdoor activities,” Indiana NASP coordinator Tim Beck said.

Tournament competition is open only to schools that have received the archery training provided by the DNR Law Enforcement Division and have the archery program as a part of their school’s curriculum.

The program is supported and often funded through local school corporations, the IHEA, individual donations, conservation organizations and corporate sponsors, such as the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Aquatic plant removal may require permit

Indiana DNR Release:

Before you remove aquatic plants from a public lake, check with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. You may need a permit before proceeding.
State law requires that residents of a public lake who want to chemically control or physically remove aquatic plants along more than 25 feet of their shoreline, a total surface area of more than 625 square feet, or at water depths greater than 6 feet, must first obtain a written permit from the DNR. Residents who treat less than the specified amount do not need a permit.

This allows property owners to control small areas of aquatic plants around piers and swimming areas that may interfere with lake use.

"Aquatic plants play an important role in lake ecology," according to Rod Edgell, DNR assistant fisheries biologist; "however, removing plants is sometimes necessary to allow residents and anglers access to the lake."
When using any pesticide, it's important to follow the product's label directions, and only use herbicides registered for aquatic habitats. Improper use of any aquatic herbicide is not only illegal, but can be hazardous to humans and aquatic life.

In most cases, permits to chemically control aquatic plants are granted only to licensed pesticide applicators who have knowledge and training in the proper use of pesticides.
"We recommend that lake residents combine their resources and hire a licensed applicator for large-scale treatments," Edgell said. "Applicators are trained to properly identify target plants and use the most appropriate herbicide."

In most cases, permits are issued only for control of non-native plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed. Native plants seldom interfere with lake use, and are rarely treated on a large scale.
Permit applications are available at the Northeast Regional Office, 1353 S. Governors Drive, Columbia City, IN 46725, or (260) 244-6805. Application fee is $5. Processing may take up to six weeks, so plan accordingly.
Questions regarding pesticides and their use should be directed to your local Purdue University County Extension Office. The location of your county extension office can be obtained at, or 1-888-398-4636.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sports Updates at Twitter!

News-Banner Sports Editor Paul Beitler is posting sports event Tweets at

Sign up now!

Sign up for May 16 triathlon/duathlon at Pokagon

Indiana DNR Release:

Sign up now to test your will and stamina at the third annual Pokagon State Park Triathlon/Duathlon, May 16. Events begin at 9 a.m.
Participants competing in the triathlon must swim1.5 kilometers, bike ride 40k, and run 10k. Those who choose not to swim may enter the duathlon, consisting of the 10k run and 40k bike ride.
Races will start in two waves, separated by three to five minutes. Men will start first, followed by women. All participants will receive a gift bag containing a race T-shirt and triathlon-related gear. Post-race festivities and a picnic will follow.
Advance individual race fee is $60 for USA Triathlon (USAT) members, $70 for non-USAT members. Team race fee is $120 for USAT members, $130 for non-USAT members. Day-of-race fees will have $25 added to each category.
The event is organized and conducted by TriFort Triathletes. Major sponsor is the Woman’s Care Center for northeast Indiana.

For information on racing or volunteering visit

Normal park entrance fees of $5 for in-state vehicles and $7 for out-of-state vehicles will be collected.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fish, wildlife rules suggestions still wanted

Indiana DNR Release:

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has received nearly 800 suggestions from the public as part of an ongoing comprehensive review and enhancement of fish and wildlife rules for the Department of Natural Resources.

“We are grateful to everyone who already has taken an active role in this process,” said Bryan Poynter, chairman of the Natural Resources Commission. “The intent all along has been to organize and update a user-friendly set of rules that encourage people to hunt and fish rather than hinder their participation. The level of public input so far has helped move us closer to that goal.”

Substantive rule change suggestions are the third stage of a four-stage process recommended last year by a steering committee. Suggestions can be made through a Web-based interactive form by going to and clicking on the “Submit a Suggestion” link. The suggestion form will be available until April 1.

An advisory group will review the suggestions and conduct public hearings to determine the merit of suggestions received. The advisory group will report its findings and recommendations to the NRC in late 2009. Actual proposal of substantive rule amendments are not expected to be presented to the NRC until early 2010.

The first stage of the project was to readopt all Fish and Wildlife Rules (312 IAC 9) without change to ensure the rules did not expire while the remainder of the project progresses. The readopted rules became effective on Dec. 24, 2008.

The Stage 2 goal is to provide clarity and consistency of interpretation, and to improve enforceability with only minor amendments to the rules in three segments. The NRC has granted preliminary adoption to the first segment of amendments on deer hunting and hunter education rules. Additional segments will address rules associated with wild animals (except deer), mammals and game birds (March 17), and rules associated with reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, commercial licenses and permits (May 2009). It is hoped Stage 2 will be completed and approved by October or November.

The fourth stage provides an option to work with the state legislature to enact necessary amendments to existing statutes.

Gov. Daniels fills Courthouse commission

Indiana DNR Release:

Gov. Mitch Daniels and Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard have announced the appointment of the Courthouse Preservation Advisory Commission that will advise county officials on caring for Indiana’s historic courthouses and provide recommendations on how they may be preserved.

Gov. Daniels named Shepard to serve as commission chair and the following to fill positions as specified in the 2008 law: Ron Ross, Fort Wayne, as licensed architect; Fritz Herget, Indianapolis, professional engineer; Diana Hawes, Bloomington, architectural historian; Kathy Beumer, Randolph County, county commissioner member; Brad Bumgardner, executive director of the Parke County Community Foundation, local community foundation representative; and David Decker, Terre Haute, Association of Indiana Counties member.

Ex officio members are Shepard, Dr. James A. Glass, director of the DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology; Marsh Davis, president of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana; and David Terrell, executive director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Shepard also will appoint a judge of a county, superior, or circuit court to the commission.

“The commission will play an important role in increasing access to reliable information about how to preserve these important symbols of our communities,” Gov. Daniels said.

Shepard said, “We anticipate providing such advice and building public awareness of the many possibilities for continued use and enjoyment of these distinguished landmarks.”

Upon request, the commission will provide county officials with assessments of historic courthouse conditions, technical advice on rehabilitation projects to encourage appropriate preservation practices, recommendations on architectural and engineering plans for rehabilitation, and information concerning funding sources for such projects.

The commission also will submit a report to the Indiana General Assembly by August 2011 that assesses the importance of preserving historic courthouses to the history, identity and economic revitalization of county seats and counties; investigates the need for rehabilitation, restoration, and maintenance of historic courthouses; studies the condition of such courthouses; and studies the needs of county officials in planning for the successful restoration, rehabilitation, and maintenance of historic courthouses.

The commission’s first meeting is April 8, at 1:30 p.m., in conference room 5, Indiana Government Center South, Indianapolis.

DNR employee wins national tree farming award

Indiana DNR Release:

Don Stump of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry has received the National Field Leadership Award from the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). The award is given annually to a professional forester who has provided exemplary service to private woodland owners.
Stump, who lives in Scottsburg, serves the DNR as a District Forester. He also serves as the state administrator for the Indiana Tree Farm Program, and is chair of Forestry District 3, which includes Floyd, Clark, Jefferson and Scott counties.

The ATFS is the world's oldest sustainable forestry and certification program. For more information about the American Tree Farm System, see

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ball Brothers back Outdoor Experience

Indiana DNR Release: Grant lends support to Student Day for fall event at Fort Harrison

The Indiana Natural Resources Foundation has received a $30,000 grant from the Ball Brothers Foundation to support Student Day programming at the Hoosier Outdoor Experience at Fort Harrison State Park in September.

“We are honored to be the beneficiary of the Ball Brothers grant and privileged to give back to Indiana through the program and outreach that its support will make possible,” said Robert E. Carter Jr., director of the Department of Natural Resources.

The Hoosier Outdoor Experience is scheduled for Sept. 25-27, at Fort Harrison State Park, with the last two days open to the public. Presented by the DNR and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, it is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for aspiring outdoor enthusiasts to experience in a hands-on, interactive fashion the range of recreational opportunities available across Indiana.

Student Day, scheduled for Sept. 25, will teach 1,000 registered third graders from Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Madison and Marion counties about the connections between habitat, the environment and citizenship.

“Young people are one of our target audiences for the Hoosier Outdoor Experience,” said Bourke Patton, INRF executive director. “The Ball Brothers Foundation also recognizes the value of providing environmental education, and with their support, we will be able to help hundreds of school children make that connection with the outdoors.”

The Ball Brothers Foundation’s motto is “Building Community Since 1926.” Its grant program focuses on six broad subject areas: education, arts, culture and humanities, human services, public/society benefit, health and environment. The Foundation, established in 1926 as an independent, private, family philanthropic organization, is an outgrowth of business successes of the five Ball brothers and their descendents.

Learn more about the Hoosier Outdoor Experience at

Monday, March 9, 2009

Division of Fish and Wildlife honors top employees

Indiana DNR Release:

Division of Fish and Wildlife honoree.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife has named employees of the year for 2008.

Biologist of the year is Dan Carnahan of Winslow, who has worked as the District 7 fisheries biologist since 1997. District 7 includes Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Orange, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, Perry and Crawford counties.

Secretary of the year is Kim Tibbett of Linton. Tibbett regularly performs duties for Minnehaha FWA in Sullivan County, Goose Pond FWA in Greene County, and the District 9 private lands biologist. District 9 includes Vigo, Clay, Owen, Sullivan and Greene counties.

Field technician of the year is Dennis Workman of Solsberry, who has worked at Goose Pond FWA in Greene County since August 2006.

Mentor of the year is Bob Robertson of Culver. Bob has worked for DNR for 41 years as a fisheries biologist. He is currently District 1 fisheries biologist, serving Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Newton, Jasper, Starke, Marshall, Pulaski, Fulton, Benton, White, Cass, Warren, Tippecanoe, and Carroll counties.

Program manager of the year is Mark Reiter of Greenwood, who is public lands program manager, overseeing employees at 22 Fish and Wildlife Areas, developing youth hunting events, and helping establish shooting ranges at Roush Lake (Huntington County), Kingsbury FWA (LaPorte County), and Atterbury FWA (Johnson County).

Angie Tilton and Mary Hayes won Team of the Year. Angie is the Project WET coordinator and Mary is the Project WILD coordinator. The team plays an important role in providing educational material about natural resources to teachers in Indiana.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

‘Experience’ the outdoors at September event

Indiana DNR Release:

Mix a little kayaking with mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, archery, target shooting, horseback riding, camping or just about any other outdoor activity you can imagine and what do you have?
The Hoosier Outdoor Experience.

The event, presented by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, will be Sept. 26-27, at Fort Harrison State Park, a 1,700-acre oasis of woods, water and open green spaces on the outskirts of Indianapolis.
There’s never been an event like this in Indiana – two full days to wrap your arms around the great outdoors through hands-on educational opportunities and skill-building activities with an added focus on natural resource conservation, outdoor ethics and responsibility.
The Hoosier Outdoor Experience has something for everyone and a particular emphasis on welcoming newcomers to the outdoors. Beginners seeking entry-level knowledge and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts looking to recharge their spirit are bound to discover a wealth of opportunities and information.
This large-scale event brings together the Indiana DNR and Natural Resources Foundation, other government agencies, diverse organizations like the Indiana Heritage Trust, Indiana State Park Inns, Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Indiana Deer Hunters Association, the Indiana Wildlife Federation, and dozens of other support groups, all with the shared purpose of showcasing the wealth of outdoor opportunities in the Hoosier state.
And here’s perhaps the best part – parking, admission, and access to all activities, demonstrations and seminars are free.

To keep track of updates and other information on the event, visit
For information on Hoosier Outdoor Experience sponsorship levels and benefits, call Bourke Patton of the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation at (317) 234-5447 or e-mail

DNR and Alcoa distribute $80,000 for urban trees

Indiana DNR Release:

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry has awarded $80,000 in matching grants to 14 Hoosier communities.

“These grant dollars are part of the DNR Division of Forestry and Alcoa Foundation Tree Planting Partnership grant. The dollars will go for purchase, planting, and maintenance of trees on public property. We are happy to pass these needed funds on to our municipalities,” director of the DNR Division of Forestry John Seifert said.
The Indiana cities, towns, and non-profits awarded funds include: Winamac, Auburn, Decatur, East Chicago, Kendallville, LaPorte, Greencastle, Culver, Munster, Westfield, Keep Evansville Beautiful, Lafayette Tree Fund, Monroe County Community Schools Foundation, and TREES Inc. of Terre Haute.
“Cities and towns, due to the economic downturn, are hard pressed to put dollars into tree planting and maintenance right now," said Pam Louks, DNR community and urban forestry coordinator. "For the Alcoa Foundation to see and respond to that need is much appreciated."

The DNR received 21 requests from cities and towns in 18 counties totaling $131,900. Louks said all were worthy of serious consideration.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Federal funds coming to DNR Fish and Wildlife

Indiana DNR Press Release:

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will receive more than $11 million from two federal programs that help states fund fish and wildlife conservation, boater access to public waters, and hunter and aquatic education.

"I can't stress enough the importance of this revenue-generating partnership," said Glen Salmon, director of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. "Along with license sales, these funds are driving the management of Indiana fish and wildlife."

Indiana will get $5,836,724 from the Wildlife Restoration Program, otherwise known as the Pittman-Robertson Fund, and $5,235,357 from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, otherwise known as the Dingell-Johnson Fund. Both funds are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In recent years, the DNR has used allotted funds to stock fish; develop and maintain public boating and fishing access sites; provide hunter education programs; purchase land for public hunting, fishing and wildlife watching; provide aquatic education for youth at its State Fair fishing pond; develop and maintain shooting ranges on fish and wildlife areas for recreational shooting participants; and complete many more fish-and-wildlife-related projects.

The funds are part of the $740.9 million that Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently announced will be distributed to the fish and wildlife agencies of the 50 states, commonwealths, the District of Columbia, and territories. Funding is based on a formula consisting of land area, including inland waters, and the number of paid hunting license-holders in each state, commonwealth, and territory.

These funds come from excise taxes and import duties on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, sport fishing equipment, electric outboard motors, and fuel taxes attributable to motorboats and small engines.

New Outdoor Indiana flies high for spring

Indiana DNR Press Release:

March, as most everyone knows, is the best time to fly kites … or is it?

Find out how, when and where to kite, and where to get the most flights for your money, in the March-April issue of Outdoor Indiana magazine, which blows onto newsstands this week. You'll find expert advice from the Hoosier Kite Society, as well as the tale of "The Kite Man of Indiana," who once influenced the pastime nationwide from his home in Farmland.
Longtime fans of state parks can turn to an essay by Dan Bortner, director of the DNR Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, musing about childhood visits to Spring Mill State Park with his family. His father Ron, whose photos accompany the text, was a freelance photographer whose work graced the magazine's cover numerous times.
Mountain bikers from beginner to expert can learn how they can compete against riders of their own talent level throughout the state in the DINO (Do INdiana Off-road) series.
No matter what your interests, these articles and others in the full-color, 48-page Outdoor Indiana will give you ideas and insights on how to best enjoy Indiana's outdoors, particularly as the weather warms.
Available at most Borders and Barnes & Noble's bookstores, the magazine sells for $3 an issue. A subscription costs $12 for one year, $20 for two years. Single issues also can be purchased by calling (317) 233-3046. See to subscribe or for more information.