The Division of Fish & Wildlife will be proposing amendments to the following rules governing fishing tournament licenses/permits, trapping wild animals, and registering to be an organ donor for preliminary adoption at the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Rule language can be found as agenda item #10 here.
Public comments can be submitted to the NRC after preliminary adoption. Once the public comment period has ended and a public hearing has been conducted, the NRC will vote on final adoption of any rule changes. Please note that these proposed changes will not be in effect in 2021.
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.
Hoosiers in all Indiana counties can now resume feeding birds.
DNR had recommended a statewide moratorium on bird feeding earlier this summer to slow the spread of a still-undetermined illness that is killing birds across the state. Biologists identified more than 750 possible cases in 76 counties that involved a specific set of clinical signs, including crusty eyes, eye discharge, and neurological issues.
The actions of many Hoosiers significantly helped the DNR’s work related to the disease outbreak. By taking down their feeders and submitting more than 4,300 reports, residents enabled DNR staff track the disease, detect regional differences, and provide updated recommendations for feeding birds. The DNR appreciates the efforts and actions of Hoosiers statewide.
DNR recovered the body of a black bear north of Bristol in Elkhart County on Wednesday.
The bear was found near a toll road and was in an advanced state of decomposition. DNR staff delivered the remains to the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at Purdue for necropsy to determine cause of death. Preliminary results revealed the bear had many fractured bones; injuries that DNR mammalogist Brad Westrich says are consistent with a vehicle collision.
“It is unfortunate that for many in Elkhart County this was their first experience observing a black bear,” Westrich said. “It’s well documented that wild animals are commonly killed on roadways, and it’s a shame that Indiana’s fifth black bear in modern history met this fate.”
Twenty-one Indiana counties will receive funds to use to improve local water bodies, thanks to $1,450,800 in grants awarded by DNR Director Dan Bortner through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program.
The grants will fund projects on four lakes and 22 rivers and streams in 21 counties. Funded projects must be completed within a two-year timeframe.
Most of the projects aim to improve water quality by addressing sediment and nutrient inputs into lakes and streams. Improved water quality helps to ensure continued viability for fish and wildlife as well as improve recreational opportunities in Indiana.
Hunters can apply for additional reserved hunt opportunities on Indiana Fish and Wildlife Areas.
Sign-up is at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt. The online method is the only way to apply for the hunts listed below. No late entries will be accepted. Applicants must possess a hunting license that is valid for the hunt for which they apply.
Many of these additional hunting opportunities are available through Fish & Wildlife managed Game Bird Habitat Areas (GBA) and through the Indiana Private Lands Access program (IPLA). Learn more about IPLA at bit.ly/3fTWbu8.