Patoka Sportsman 7-2 & 7-3-22
The Independence Day holiday typically means more boaters spending more time on the water across the United States, which typically results in an increase in the number of boating incidents and fatalities.
As a result, from July 2–4, Indiana Conservation Officers, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard, will participate in the national Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend.
During those days, law enforcement agencies from across the country will be focused on educating boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating. Because alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths, Indiana Conservation Officers will be working to increase public awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for boat operators and their passengers.
Boaters during Independence Day weekend will notice an overall increase in officer patrols on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints. The aim of the combined efforts of the participating law enforcement agencies and outreach partners is to remove impaired operators from our waterways, providing a safer and enjoyable experience for everyone on the water.
Operating a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries, death, property damage and legal consequences. Indiana Conservation Officers reminds boaters to always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on or around the water.
This year’s Thunder over Patoka will take place on Saturday, July 2 at 10 PM.
Beginning July 1, hunters can apply for a variety of reserved hunts online by visiting on.IN.gov/reservedhunt. This year, instead of one application period for all draws, they are split into a few different date windows. The reason for the change is to help hunters more easily plan for their hunts and thereby increase the number of hunters able to participate.
The online method is the only way to apply for the hunts. No late entries will be accepted. Applicants must possess a hunting license that is valid for the hunt for which they are applying.
Hunters will be selected through a random computerized drawing. Applicants will be able to view draw results online within two weeks after the application period has closed. An email will be sent to all applicants when draws have been completed. Applications for the following hunting opportunities open July 1. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 1:
- Dove Hunts: Applicants may select the desired date and property. Due to inclement spring weather, other crops may have been planted in place of or along with sunflowers. Participating properties include the following Fish & Wildlife areas (FWAs): Atterbury, Goose Pond, Jasper-Pulaski, Kankakee, Kingsbury, Pigeon River, Willow Slough, and Winamac.
- Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge Youth Deer Hunt: Muscatatuck NWR will host one reserved firearm deer hunt for youth, Sept. 24-25.
- Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) Hunts: IPLA will offer reserved hunts for squirrel and youth deer on private lands. Hunt dates and locations can be seen when applying.
Applications for the following hunting opportunities open Aug. 22. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 23:
- FWA Waterfowl Hunts: Participating FWAs include Goose Pond, Hovey Lake, Kingsbury, Kankakee, and LaSalle. Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area, managed by J.E. Roush Lake FWA, will also participate.
- FWA Deer Hunts: Deer Creek and Fairbanks Landing will host firearm season hunts.
- State Park Deer Hunts: State parks participating include Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, and Whitewater Memorial. Trine State Recreation Area and Cave River Valley Natural Area will also participate.
- Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Deer Hunts: Properties participating include Big Oaks and Muscatatuck, each of which will draw archery, firearms, and muzzleloader deer hunts.
- Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) Hunts: IPLA will offer reserved hunts for game birds and deer on private lands.
Additional hunting opportunities:
- Camp Atterbury (National Guard property) has decided not to allocate deer hunting opportunities through the Indiana DNR reservation system. For details on how to apply for hunting opportunities at Camp Atterbury, see atterbury.isportsman.net. Email questions to [email protected] or call 812-5261499, ext. 61375.
Please note that for all opportunities listed, only one application per hunt is allowed. No changes can be made once an application is submitted. The application process is now consolidated into the online services website along with licenses, CheckIN Game, and HIP registration. An online account is not required to apply, but you must have a Customer ID number.
Hunts without a registration fee will follow the same process as those with a fee. To register for hunts with no fee required, applicants will be asked to “Add to Cart,” “Proceed to Checkout,” and “Place Order.” If the transaction total is $0, the applicant will not be asked to enter credit card information. Applicants must place an order to submit their application.
To view draw results, applicants can log into their online services account or click “View hunt draw results” at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt. From there, applicants should select “Click here” under Reserved Hunts to see the status of registered hunts. The link will only show upcoming hunts that an individual has registered for. Logging into an account online is required to see the full history of past hunt registrations. More information is available at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
The outlook for walleye and saugeye fishing looks good for upcoming years after a total of 28.3 million walleye fry, 529,404 walleye fingerlings, and 101,800 saugeye were at various locations around Indiana this spring.Stocking for these species is scheduled annually because they don’t reproduce naturally in most locations.
Fry were stocked at the end of April, while walleye and hybrid walleye fingerlings were stocked at the end of May and early this month. Typically, walleye and hybrid walleye will reach 14 inches two years after being stocked and 16 inches after three years. Because this year was successful for egg collection, hatching rates for fry, and fingerling production, hatchery staff and biologists were able to fully stock all requested locations, including a few that were on the surplus list. Walleye fry were stocked at Brookville (Franklin and Union), Eagle Creek (Marion), Monroe (Brown and Monroe), and Patoka (Orange, Dubois, and Crawford). Saugeye fingerlings were stocked at Huntingburg (Dubois) and Sullivan (Sullivan). The statewide bag limit for walleye, sauger, and saugeye is six fish per day in combination. For walleye, the minimum size limit is 14 inches for waters south of State Road 26 and 16 inches for waters north of State Road 26
There is no size limit on saugeye (or on sauger) except on Huntingburg Lake (Dubois), Glenn Flint Lake (Putnam), and Sullivan Lake (Sullivan) where the minimum size limit is 14 inches. Ohio River has a minimum size limit of 14 inches and a six fish combination limit per day for walleye, sauger, and saugeye.
Learn more about fishing for walleye: wildlife.IN.gov/fishing/walleye-fishing. Read about fish stocking in Indiana: https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/fishing/indiana-fish-stocking/
The DNR is hiring seasonal staff for the 2022 recreation season at State Parks and Fish & Wildlife areas. Some of the available jobs include, labor/property workers, lifeguards, gate attendants, naturalist aides, office help & more. Apply online at on.IN.gov/dnrjobs. Indiana State Park Inns are also hiring for an assortment of jobs at all seven locations. Find out more at Indianainnsjobs.com.