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Clear H2O

By Louie Stout

Area fishing opportunities should improve considerably in the coming days with a forecast calling for warmer and more stable weather.

Warmer weather will not only make winter fishing more enticing for anglers, but the warming trend should get the fish more active.

That’s not to say it has been bad in recent weeks. Anglers who have braved the cold temperatures and know where the fish are schooling have been catching panfish.

By Louie Stout

The gall of some state legislators is appalling.

Indiana Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, is one of those.

He authored a bill recently that would diminish DNR Conservation Officers’ authority, strip $6 million from the enforcement budget and transfer it to recreation areas within his own district.

Now, a lot of frivolous bills get introduced to the state legislature and usually die in committee. But McMillin is the House Republican majority floor leader who has more clout than the average legislator.

According to a story in last week’s Indianapolis Star, the $6 million he wants to cut would cover the pay of about 75 conservation officers. McMillin earmarks the transferred funds for improvements at Brookville Reservoir and Whitewater Memorial State Park facilities - both in his district.

By Louie Stout

Hoosier complaints about Michigan’s excessive non-resident fishing license fees were heard.

The DNR announced recently it’s reducing non-resident license fees from $72 a year to $68 after non-resident sales plummeted following the price increase last year.

But is it enough to persuade Indiana anglers to return?

Michigan saw a 41 percent drop in annual non-resident fishing license sales since instituting the fee increase last spring. Not surprisingly, the less expensive, 1 and 3 day fishing license sales leaped by nearly 20,000.

Non-resident hunting sales, which weren’t reduced for this year, also were down by 20 percent. Statewide deer license sales dropped by 48,000.