Patoka Sportsman 5-18 & 5-19-19
The Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club and Huntingburg Conservation Club are sponsoring the annual free fishing derby in memory of Paul Klem from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1, at the Jasper Outdoor Recreation. The rain date is June 8. Awards will be presented for the biggest fish and most fish caught. Drawings will be held for donated prizes. Attendees are to bring their fishing poles and bait. Ages 15 and younger are welcome to participate.Registration is from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Rules will be gone over between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Fishing will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Lunch and awards will be from 11 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 812-309-0835 or 812-639-3300. The next DCSC meeting is Monday, May 20 at 7 PM at Mac A Doo’s.
The Patoka Lake Reservoir has avoided a spillway event, for now, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Water at the reservoir didn’t reach anticipated levels and did not crest the spillway as predicted. Officials continue to monitor the situation and are working to regain flood control storage as quickly as possible. The lake is expected to stay above the target summer pool elevation of 536 feet for most of the summer. Authorities say it will take time to regain all of its flood storage capacity.
To monitor real-time lake and river level information, visit the USGS web site at: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/current/?type=flow Patoka Lake Gauge: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv/?site_no=03374498&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,62614,00010 For the latest updates visit: www.facebook.com/LouisvilleUSACE
Many hunters and fisherman in Indiana feel the state is shortchanging the division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources dedicated to protecting Indiana's wildlife. Gene Hopkins is the president of the Indiana Sportsman's Roundtable, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Indiana's sportsman have a platform to voice their concerns and ideas for the state's conservation of the outdoors and it's wildlife. He tells Indiana Outdoors that the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife is approaching "a crisis point" when it comes to funding. "They get no general fund revenue. Sales tax, gasoline tax, they get none of that," Hopkins said. "They only money from user fees. Hunting licenses and fishing licenses are considered user fees." Hopkins said it's been over a decade since the price of those licenses has gone up. "When you think about your budget if you own a company and you go ten to fifteen years without an increase in costs, something has to change," Hopkins said.
Because of the lack of sufficient revenue, Hopkins said the Division of Fish and Wildlife has not been able to hire new biologists or conservation officers to keep up with efforts to maintain areas where fishing and hunting take place in the state. This is why he and his organization worked with the Division of Fish and Wildlife to this past legislative session to introduce the Outdoor Stewardship Act. The goal of the bill was to steer some of your tax money towards the Division so that it does not have to solely rely on user fees for income. "We need to start thinking outside the box," said Hopkins. "There are some non-traditional revenue sources that we should go after."
He's proposing that state lawmakers dip into certain taxes similar to those you already pay when you buy a gun or a bow for hunting. That tax money goes towards fish and wildlife services throughout the state. Hopkins wants to take that method a step further. "If you go and buy a set of binoculars, you pay a tax, but none of that money go into fish and wildlife conservation. It goes into the general fund," Hopkins explained. "Many states have looked at this and said that money is being collected from users of outdoor resources, but it's not being used on users of the outdoor resources."
Hopkins is proposing legislation to expand on the list of products that are taxed under state law and to use that money for wildlife conservation. Their bill didn't pass this year, which Hopkins said was expected. He clarified that his would not be adding any new taxes, but rather shifting where current tax revenue goes. But, he said it was a good starting point to get the idea on the radar of state lawmakers, whom Hopkins said they plan to work with between now and the 2020 session.
The newly renovated Patoka Lake Nature Center has reopened and has several new features for families to learn about area wildlife. The new features include a new land-to-lake view of wildlife commonly seen at Patoka Lake. There’s also a terrarium and aquarium exhibit featuring box turtles, a tiger salamander, an albino alligator snapping turtle, and new interactive wildlife management displays. The center is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The entrance fee of $7 per vehicle for Indiana residents ($9 out of state) is required for the Newton Stewart State Recreation Area, Patoka Reservoir, located north of Wickliffe, Highway 164. For more information regarding this program other interpretive events, please call the Visitor Center at 812-685-2447.
This year the JRGC Member Appreciation Day is scheduled for Sunday, May 19. Members and their family are invited to attend a full day of activities at the Club. They will be having a Black Powder Rifle Match in the morning, Clay Target Shooting on the trap field starting around 12:30, Outlaw Steel Shooting throughout the afternoon and if time allows a Tactical / Varmint Rifle Match on the rifle range.
Their newest shooting discipline will make its appearance on the 100-Yard Range as they introduce Benchrest .22 Rimfire Metallic Silhouette Matches. See the web site for additional information on this exciting shooting sport. <LINK HERE>
Cost of participating in any of these matches May 19 are FREE to JRGC members. Remember to bring your eye and ear protection, firearms and plenty of ammunition!