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IDNR Report

Indiana Conservation Officer Alex Toth has been selected the 2021 District 10 Officer of the Year.

Toth is assigned to LaPorte County and has been a conservation officer since 2017.

In addition to his normal duties as a field officer, he also serves as a public safety diver and is a passenger-for-hire inspector. 

District 10 includes Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Lake, Pulaski, Jasper and Starke counties in northeast Indiana.

The district award puts Toth in the running for the Pitzer Award, which is given to the top overall conservation officer in the state of Indiana and selected from the 10 district award winners.

The Pitzer award is named after Indiana Conservation Officer James D. Pitzer, who was fatally shot while investigating illegal hunting activity on Jan. 2, 1961, in Jay County.

(To see a full list of the new fishing/hunting/trapping fees click here.)

IDNR Report

For the first time since 2006, Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) has increased fees for hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Commercial license fees also increase, some for the first time since the 1980s.

The increases will be applied to personal licenses starting with the 2022-2023 license year (April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023) that will go on sale in January. The fee increase does not affect licenses for the remainder of the 2021-2022 license years (April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022), even if those licenses are purchased after Jan. 1.

IDNR Report

A hunter is hospitalized after his boat sank on Webster Lake this morning.

At approximately 11:16 a.m., Kosciusko County Dispatch Center was contacted by a residential alarm company after they were alerted to an unauthorized residential entry to a home on Webster Lake.

Despite frigid temperatures and wind gusts forecast to reach up to 50 miles per hour, Trenton Stackhouse, 27, of Milford and Darick Stiles, 27, of Warsaw, set out to waterfowl hunt on Webster Lake near Epworth Forest.

After getting underway, the men quickly realized the conditions were too difficult to overcome.

IDNR Report

The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has given preliminary adoption rule changes governing fishing tournament licenses/permits, trapping wild animals, and registering to be an organ donor through the DNR’s license system.

The proposed changes are summarized as follows:

Fishing tournament licensing (312 IAC 5-3.5-1)

The proposed amendment removes the reference to the Division of Law Enforcement for the administration of licenses for fishing tournaments since the Division of State Parks issues fishing tournament permits/licenses for state park & reservoir properties, and the Division of Fish & Wildlife issues permits for the three public freshwater lakes listed in the rule (Syracuse, Wawasee, and Sylvan). There are no changes to the lakes or requirements for the permits.

Trapping wild animals (312 IAC 9-3-18) & Nuisance wild animal control permit (312 IAC 9-10-11)

The change in these rules is to simply remove the requirement that body-gripping traps be completely covered by water. Only enough water to cover the opening of the trap by 50% will be required. The 330 Conibear (body-gripping trap) is used primarily for beaver and otter trapping in Indiana. This type of trap is one of the most effective methods for removing beavers from an area, and it is listed as a humane and effective trap in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Best Management Practices for trapping beavers and otters. Beavers can create a dam in a waterway, causing flooding to adjacent properties, and beavers may need to be removed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, this method is one of the most common used for both nuisance trapping situations as well as during the beaver trapping season. Because of its size, the administrative rule in 312 IAC 9-3-18(f) currently requires that the 330 Conibear trap be completely submerged in water. The same requirements are in the nuisance wild animal control permit rule in 312 IAC 9-10-11 for nuisance wildlife control operators. A 330 Conibear typically measures 10” x 10”. Due to the size of the trap and how it is typically set, it would be difficult for a dog to be caught in a 330 that is halfway submerged, so moving from fully submerged to halfway submerged should not change pet safety considerations. Allowing these traps to not be completely submerged would allow for more flexibility in dealing with beaver conflicts. The beaver and river otter seasons run concurrently, so this change should also not substantially increase river otter harvest incidental take. Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania require this size of body-gripping trap to be fully submerged; however, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky allow this size of body-grip trap to only be half-submerged in water.

Tie-A-Thon Report

On April 23rd, 2022, many avid fly tiers will come together to tie as many flies as they can for Casting for Recovery of Indiana and Michigan.

All the flies tied from the Tie-A-Thon 16 will be distributed evenly to both the Michigan and Indiana Casting for Recovery organization for use at their retreats.

Casting for Recovery envisions a future in which women with breast cancer receive emotional, physical and social support throughout their cancer journey.  

The mission of Casting for Recovery is to enhance the lives of women with breast cancer by connecting them to each other and nature through the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.

For more Tie-a-thon information, visit Tie-a-thon on Facebook or Instagram. 

The premise of the Tie-a-thon is like an old fashioned barn raisin’, with several tyers tying as many flies as they can for the cause.