Patoka Sportsman 5-23-20

Patoka Sportsman 5-23 & 5-24-20

The race is still on for 2020! Registration is open for the Full Moon 5K taking place at Patoka Lake beach on Friday, June 5 at 9:15p.m. Race 3.1miles through the woods on roadways, a well-maintained gravel and grass lane and paved bike trail lit by moonlight and tiki torches. Race for a cause! All proceeds from this event will go to support Patoka’s non-releasable raptors; a red-tailed hawk, eastern screech owl and bald eagle. Early registration is $25 which includes a race t-shirt. Go to to register today! For more information call (812)685-2447. If you are interested in sponsoring this event please contact the Race Director, Dana Reckelhoff at (812)685-2447 or by email at [email protected] .

Thunder Over Patoka is still on but will be a little different this year.  More details forthcoming.

G                              Grab your friends, family, fishing pole, tackle and bait, and head over to Patoka Lake on Saturday, June 6th from 9:00a.m. to 11:30a.m. for the annual Kids’ Fishing Derby. Park at Osborn Ramp, off Highway 145. This event is for children 12 years of age and under and they must be accompanied by an adult. Prizes will be awarded! The award ceremony will begin at 11:00a.m. Advance registration is required this year to enhance safety of participants due to Covid 19. Register by calling the Patoka Lake Nature Center at (812)685-2447. Plan to bring lawn chairs, sun screen and refreshments, and join in the fun! For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, call the Nature Center at 812.685.2447.

There will be a 3-D Broken Arrow Archery shoot Sunday June 14th at Beaver Lake. Sign-in will be from sunrise till noon. A practice range will be available, and concessions will also be sold. The entry fee is $10 for all adults, $8 for children age 11-17, and free for the cub class (10 and younger) and active military members. For more information , call cliff fleck at (812)630-0454 or karla brames at 8128273756.

Harvest data is complete for the spring turkey hunting season in Indiana.  This year hunters harvested 14,492 birds compared to 12,014 last year. Dubois County hunters checked in 2 more birds this year than last with a total of 175. Martin County was down a couple birds from the previous year with a total of 209 birds. Crawford had 224, Daviess 134, Gibson 191, Knox 141, Orange 222, Perry 338, Pike 224, Posey 147, Spencer 180, Vanderburgh 81 and Warrick county 301.

Instead of working on the frontline at state parks these days, interpretive naturalists are working online. As a result, at-home “park visitors” who are unable to enjoy state park features interpreters normally provide, like in-person nature hikes and programs, can enjoy virtual hikes, presentations, and live streaming programs from their homes. Virtual events include wildflower walks, nature talks, history programs, craft tutorials, pre-school programs, property tours, and more. Program length ranges from five to 50 minutes.

May is a wonderful time to go fishing – longer, sunny days mean the water is warming, and the fish are biting. Not sure what to use as bait or a lure? As active as fish are now, they aren’t picky. They’ll bite artificial lures like spinners, jigs, and flies. Small hooks with red worms, bee moths, or crickets also work. Some aquatic insects will be hatching, so you may wish to match the hatch. The best thing to do is get out there and wet a line.

May is a wonderful time to go fishing – longer, sunny days mean the water is warming and the fish are biting. Largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear all start to spawn when the temperature reaches 65 degrees – they will be busy feeding in the shallows and defending their nests. Not sure what to use as bait or a lure? As active as fish are now, they aren’t picky. They’ll bite artificial lures like spinners, jigs, and flies. Small hooks with red worms, bee moths, or crickets also work. Some aquatic insects will be hatching, so you may wish to match the hatch. The best thing to do is get out there and wet a line.

Warmer water temperatures trigger spawning activity for many of Indiana’s native fish species. These activities require a lot of energy and can weaken fish, leaving them susceptible to infections from diseases or parasites that can eventually kill them. Spawning activities can last for weeks and large numbers of fish may die. However, these events rarely have a lasting effect on the population.
Spring is here and with many of us stuck near home, we may notice new arrivals in our backyards. This time of year, many wild animals are born, including rabbits, squirrels, birds, and fawns. Other wildlife, like turtles, are on the move and more likely to be seen. While it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors and practice social distancing from people, remember to practice social distancing from wildlife, too. Help us keep wildlife wild.

Remember that adult animals rarely abandon their young – It is common for the parent to leave them while they search for food. Do not hover to see if a parent comes back; they won’t return if a person is standing nearby. Give the animal space and only check back periodically.

Young wildlife should not be handled. They can carry diseases or parasites and are capable of inflicting damage by biting or scratching. Human scent can also alert predators to the young animal’s presence. However, nestlings and small mammals can be safely returned to their nests if they have fallen out and are uninjured. Once the animal has been returned safely, leave the area.

Pets should be supervised at all times when outdoors. With so many young animals in nests, this keeps both pets and wildlife safe.

Except for properly maintained birdfeeders, do not feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife can lead to loss of fear, conflicts, and diseases spreading. Creating habitat is a healthy alternative that provides both food and shelter.

Help turtles cross roads, don’t take them home. May marks the beginning of turtle nesting season, and some species are endangered or of special concern. Let them continue to contribute to wild populations by only helping turtles cross roads. Be sure to move them in the direction they were heading once traffic has cleared.

While rescuing young wildlife is legal, keeping them is not. Truly orphaned wild animals must be given to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator within 24 hours to maximize their chance of survival. For more information about orphaned wildlife, visit

A contractor for the Hoosier National Forest recently started an experimental project to find out if woody debris left over from a timber harvest, known to foresters as slash, can be efficiently converted to biochar on site. This is a process that has never been done on Indiana’s only national forest, or any in the USDA Forest Service’s eastern region. Biochar is charcoal produced from burned plant matter. Biochar has many benefits that can help mitigate soil disturbances. Most importantly, it de-compacts soils, which improves infiltration and soil porosity, as well as increases its water holding capacity which mitigates surface water run-off and erosion. Biochar also holds water and nutrients to promote plant survival and growth. As a carbon-based product, biochar can also mitigate climate change by increasing the carbon pool within the soils.

The first site to have this process tested is within the Uniontown North Restoration Project in Crawford County. The site had undergone active forest management activities with the end goal of creating early successional habitat for wildlife. K&K Dirtworks was awarded the contract to produce biochar for the forest. The Hoosier National Forest will ship samples of the biochar to the regional lab to assess how much carbon is in the finished product and the overall quality of char produced.

Soil and Water Specialist Chad Menke states, “This is an experimental project for the Hoosier and K&K Dirtworks to see where the production pitfalls are and the quality of product that can be produced. We were fortunate to award this project to a knowledgeable contractor who specializes in producing soil amendment products such as compost, so it was a perfect fit to ensure this project was a success.”

Menke added, “While slash is an effective erosion control measure, it can sometimes hinder the rate of revegetation. If we can convert this excessive woody debris to biochar for soil application it will allow for impacted soils from forest management activities to be revitalized and regrow vegetation at a faster rate.” If this application can prove to be an economically viable process, the Hoosier will incorporate biochar treatments as a routine adaptive management option to be used when needed. Hoosier National Forest is always looking for new and improved soil and water conservation methods to be tried and implemented in future ecological harvests.