Patoka Sportsman 6-27 & 6-28-20
All 2019-20 basic hunting, basic fishing, hunt/fish combo, youth licenses, and stamps set to expire March 31, 2020 are now valid until the end of June. After that, you will need a 2020-21 license and/or stamp to hunt, fish, or trap. Keep a printed or electronic copy with you while hunting or fishing. If you do not have a 2019-20 annual license or stamp, a 2020-21 annual license is required. One hundred percent of your purchase goes directly toward the conservation of Indiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Purchase online at on.IN.gov/INhuntfish.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has adjusted services, events and operations to protect Hoosiers and prevent further spread of COVID-19. Outdoor activities, and travel to and from those activities, are still permitted. These include camping, hiking, fishing, boating, birding, hunting, horse and bicycle riding and geocaching. On DNR properties, some services and facilities are temporarily closed. Hoosiers should follow posted restrictions and practice social distancing. Read more about the Governor’s Executive Orders.
All DNR properties including state parks, state forests, fish and wildlife areas, nature preserves and state recreation areas are OPEN. However, some services and facilities are temporarily closed. See below for list.
All DNR properties are charging entrance fees per normal practice. A full breakdown of entrance and other fees can be found at stateparks.IN.gov/ 5062.htm.
Several DNR properties are experiencing high use during summer 2020. Some have reached parking capacity for day use on busy weekends, and gates have been closed, or vehicles admitted only when others leave. For real-time information, follow Indiana State Parks on Twitter (@INDNRstateparks ) or (@INdnrstateparksandreservoirs) . You may also wish to follow your favorite property on Facebook. View a list of DNR social media accounts.
- The DNR’s public outdoor swimming pools will remain CLOSED for the 2020 summer season due to limitations in the ability to practice social distancing on the confined space of pool decks. Playgrounds, fire towers, and other similar facilities - CLOSED.
- Drinking fountains - OFF.
The DNR urges the public to do business with them online and by phone. The DNR Customer Service Center staff can answer questions and sell annual state park passes, DNR lake permits and hunting/fishing licenses at 317-232-4200 or 877-463-6367. Hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Online and phone options include:
- Buy hunting and fishing licenses at Indiana Fish & Wildlife Online License System
- Make or change State Park Inns reservations online or by phone at 877-LODGES1 (1-877-563-4371). Call center is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
- Make or change campground reservations online or by phone at 866-622-6746.
- Buy annual state park passes, lake permits, horse tags and off-road riding permits at ShopINstateparks.com and at DNR property entrance gates.
DFW fisheries biologists conduct surveys to monitor fish populations and inform management recommendations. To collect fish, biologists use a variety of methods, depending on survey objectives. Fish surveys are conducted from when ice is gone in March, through November.
By using multiple methods to catch fish, biologists can obtain a snapshot of the entire fish community. The most common survey type in May and June uses three methods. The first collects the majority of near-shore fish with electrofishing during which fish are temporarily stunned and netted by using a measured electrical current in the water. For the second, biologists use trap nets extending from the shore to a basket. Nets are set perpendicular to the shore, collecting fish moving overnight nearby. Trap nets often collect more and larger panfish than electrofishing does. The third method uses gill nets, which are set off shore, often near drop-offs. These nets entangle fish that typically do not come close to shore such as shad, suckers, and bullheads. All fish are placed in a livewell, where they are sorted, counted and measured before being released back into the water.
Survey reports are available for different lakes on the Where to Fish map or you can contact your district fisheries biologist for more information.
Pond owners can now find resources about pond construction, where to purchase fish to stock, nuisance wildlife concerns, fish kills, and more on our website. DNR’s updated website also includes new information about constructing artificial habitat.
DNR is seeking private landowners to allow limited turkey, Northern bobwhite, ring-necked pheasant, and American woodcock public hunting opportunities on their properties. Landowners receive financial incentives and habitat management assistance through the Indiana Private Lands Access Program (IPLA). Participating landowners are eligible for incentives up to $25 an acre for fall Northern bobwhite, pheasant, and woodcock hunting opportunities, and up to $16 an acre for spring turkey hunting opportunities.
DNR biologists work closely with each landowner to develop a wildlife habitat management plan and to schedule hunting opportunities on their land. Additional financial incentives and habitat management assistance are available for improving habitat on land enrolled in the program. Habitat teams are also available to assist landowners with implementation of habitat work on enrolled properties. Landowners located within the program’s five focal regions across the state are strongly encouraged to apply.
Thunder over Patoka will take place this year on July 4 from the area near the beach. The beach will be open and you can view from your normal spots. Social distancing should still be practiced.
Nesting season is underway for many of Indiana’s native turtles, which means Hoosiers may encounter them crossing roadways this time of year. A turtle found crossing roads may be moved off the roadway in the direction it was traveling, as along as conditions are safe to do so. The turtle should not be moved to a new area – some turtles, like Eastern box turtles, have a strong homing instinct and, if moved, may spend most of their life trying to find their original home.
Have you noticed geese and their young walking across the road during the summer? That’s because adult Canada geese molt every summer. While new flight feathers grow in, Canada geese are essentially grounded for a month. New goslings also grow their first set of flight feathers during this time. In Indiana, peak molting for Canada geese are the last two weeks of June through the first two weeks of July.