Patoka Sportsman 5-28 to 6-5-22
Each year, Indiana offers four Free Fishing Days to provide Indiana residents the opportunity to cast a line without the need for a fishing license. The next opportunity is June 4-5. Free Fishing Days are a great chance to try fishing for the first time, reactivate your fishing hobby, or simply spend time by the water with a fishing buddy. Check out the Where to Fish page to view the many free public access fishing spots throughout Indiana. If this will be your first time fishing, check out the fishing tips and videos on the DNR website!
With around 200 different species of fish swimming in Indiana waters, even the experienced angler can occasionally net or hook into something that leaves them scratching their head. Don’t be kept wondering – snap a picture and email it to [email protected]. Along with the photo, include the name of the body of water where it was caught, location (address, closest bridge, or other landmark), and date it was caught. A biologist will get back to you with an identification. Not only will you learn about the fish that you caught, you might also be providing valuable distribution information for the species to the DNR. See a complete list of all Indiana fish species here.
Indiana paddlers have a unique opportunity to observe wildlife while enjoying Indiana’s water resources. Indiana DNR would like more information about the wildlife that spend time around Indiana’s waterways and asks paddlers for help. Volunteer paddlers can sign up to complete paddling trip postcards documenting the wildlife they observe while floating from June 1 to July 31. Volunteers will be mailed a packet upon signup. Previous volunteers will be mailed a new packet and do not need to sign up again. The information collected will allow wildlife managers to estimate changes in key wildlife populations over time.
Learn about archery from a certified instructor during an introductory lesson at Patoka Lake’s archery range on Sunday, June 5 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. All equipment will be provided. This event is limited to 15 participants age 8 and older, and the cost is $5 per person. Advance registration is required. Call the Patoka Lake Nature Center at 812-685-2447 to reserve a spot. The entrance fee of $7 per vehicle for Indiana residents and $9 for vehicles with out-of-state plates is required for the Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area, located north of Wickliffe on State Road 164. For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, please call the Nature Center at 812-685-2447.
Sample the offerings of central and southern Indiana distilleries during Spring Mill State Park’s first Village Tasting Experience on June 11 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the park’s Pioneer Village. The event will help raise money to purchase a still and improve displays for the park’s own 1824 village distillery. The event cost is $30 for those staying at Spring Mill Inn or the park’s campground and $40 for everyone else. That cost includes a sample from all distilleries in attendance. All other purchases from those businesses must be made in cash. Participants must be 21 or older and show identification upon arrival. A shuttle service will be provided to and from the campground and inn. Those not staying at Spring Mill Inn or the park campground must have a designated driver with them. Free soft drinks and appetizers will be available for the designated driver. The event will go on rain or shine. Advance registration is required by June 8 and can be made by calling 812-849-3534 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The event is limited to the first 300 people to register. Payment must be made when registering. There are no refunds. Park admission during the event is $7 per vehicle for in-state residents and $9 per vehicle for out-of-state residents.
Branchville will host a 3D archery shoot on June 5. On June 12 a shoot will be held at Beaver Lake, Patoka Lake will host a 3D shoot on June 19. All these shoots are a great way to get some great practice in a natural environment that will hone your archery skills over the summer to help prepare you for the fall hunting season.
Bring your kayak and join the naturalist for a tour on Patoka Lake on Saturday, June 11 leaving from the Little Patoka Boat Ramp at 9 a.m. A caravan to the boat ramp will meet at 7:45 a.m. at the Patoka Lake office. Paddlers will see a rock quarry and waterfall. Beaver and bald eagle have also been seen along the route. Bring life jackets, preferred snacks, refreshments, and sunscreen for this 5-mile journey. The tour is not suitable for beginner kayakers or children under 12 years old. Non-motorized boat launch permits are required and will be sold at the event for $5. They can also be purchased at the Patoka Lake office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, please call the Nature Center at 812-685-2447.
Educators interested in taking K-12 students on field trips to an Indiana state park or state-managed lake in the 2022-2023 school year can receive financial help through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF).
Grants from the Discover the Outdoors fund are available for public, private, parochial, or home-school educators, according to INRF executive director Jody Kress. Since the grant program’s inception in 2013, a total of 153 grants have been awarded, providing the opportunity for more than 17,000 students to visit state parks at less cost to the schools and students. Indiana has 24 state parks, eight state-managed lakes, two state recreation areas, and two off-road state recreation areas eligible for field trip funding that will engage students in learning about Indiana's fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats, conservation, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The maximum grant award is $250 per application. Applications are accepted through June 30 prior to the school year for which the grant is requested. Applications must be postmarked no later than June 30.
Applicants will be notified by Sept. 1 regarding potential grant awards. The grant application is at on.IN.gov/state-park-group-programs. Read more about the impact this grant has had at indiananrf.org/the-inrf-difference/education. The INRF is accepting donations to the fund from individuals, businesses, and anyone else who supports the idea of getting kids outdoors. The fund was established in memory of Tom Huck, a longtime DNR employee who was an ardent supporter of outdoor experiences for children. For further information, including how to donate, email [email protected].