Patoka Sportsman 8-8 & 8-9-20
Patoka Lake Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday, August 22 from 8:00 – 11:00a.m. in a
stash the trash and dash style. Due to Covid-19 and the practice of social distancing, participants
can meet an event coordinator at any of the following boat ramps to register: Painter’s Creek,
Osborn, South Lick Fork, Lick Fork, Newton Stewart or South Ramp. Quick Registration is
from 8:00 – 9:30a.m. Trash pickup will take place from 8:00a.m. – 11a.m. Come by kayak, boat
or car! Increased visitation this summer, brought an increase in trash buildup. While our staff
and volunteers work daily to clear the debris, there is still pounds of trash littering the shoreline.
We need your help to protect this drinking water source and wildlife habitat area!
Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Plan to wear close-toed walking shoes, bug spray and
bring long pants. Participants will be placed in locations based on family groups. The event will
be held in a stash the trash and dash style where trash bags will be left at the boat ramp and along
highways for trucks to pick up. Once you have collected in your area, you are free to head home.
Due to Covid-19 there will be no formal meal or prize giveaways but the lake needs you now
more than ever! We send a huge thank you to all of our past volunteers and extend our
appreciation in advance to all those who will join us in 2020! For more information contact the
Patoka Lake Nature Center at (812)685-2447.
There will be a 3-D Broken Arrow Archery shoot Sunday August 9th 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 812-827-3756.
An Indiana Hunter Ed. Course will be held on August 14 & 15 at Redemption Christian Church in Loogootee. Hours Friday the 14th are from 6-9 PM and Saturday the 15th are from 8 AM – 4 PM. All instruction will be by Indiana Conservation Officers and certified Indiana volunteer Hunter Ed. Instructors. There is no charge for attending the class. A Hunter Ed. Certification is required for all persons born after Dec. 31, 1986 who wish to purchase an Indiana Hunting license. To register go to www.passitonindiana.com.
Reserved hunt applications for dove, waterfowl, deer, and pheasant will be accepted until Aug. 17. Individuals must apply online for these hunts. To apply, go to on.IN.gov/reservedhunt and click “Apply for a reserved hunt.” Only one application per hunt is allowed, and no changes can be made once an application is submitted. Applicants must possess a valid hunting license for the hunt for which they are applying. To find out more about reserved hunt applications that are open or opening soon, visit on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Volunteers can help DNR learn more about Indiana’s wild turkey populations by reporting turkey broods through Aug. 31. Each summer, wildlife biologists and volunteers conduct brood surveys, counting the number of young wild turkeys observed with turkey hens to estimate how many young turkeys live through the summer. Summer brood survival is one of the primary factors influencing wild turkey population trends in various regions of the state and informs wild turkey management.
August is National Shooting Sports Month, a month celebrating the shooting sports industry and providing an opportunity for gun owners to get involved in recreational shooting. Indiana DNR has 12 public shooting ranges and 10 archery ranges that anyone is welcome to enjoy. Try out your equipment at the range today!
Signing in to buy hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses will look different the next time you do so because of a new state online portal called Access Indiana. The new portal is a safe, secure and easy to use way for you to interact with all facets of state government through a single login instead of many. Presently, there are 18 services that users can enter from Access Indiana – a full list is available online.
Don’t wait until right before deer season, purchase your 2020-21 deer hunting license now. Season dates and answers to deer hunting FAQs can be found at deer.dnr.IN.gov. Deer licenses can be purchased at an authorized retailer or online at on.IN.gov/inhuntfish. Find instructions for getting started online. For additional assistance with user names or passwords, call 800-457-8283 for Access Indiana customer support. DNR is unable to assist with user names and passwords. More information about the Access Indiana portal, answers to FAQs, and other helpful information is available online.
Gray and fox squirrel hunting season begins Aug. 15 and runs through Jan. 31, 2021.
Hunting seasons for rail (sora only), mourning doves, and snipe open Sept. 1. Check out this year’s season dates for early migratory gamebirds and remember to purchase your hunting license.
The new DNR Hunting & Trapping Regulation Guide will be available in late August. Pick up a copy at your local retailer or a DNR property. The new guide will also be posted online at hunting.IN.gov. If you don’t already have your Harvest Information Program (HIP) number for the 2020-21 migratory bird seasons, register now online or by calling 866-671-4499. It’s easy to register online, and there’s no cost for using either method.
Late summer is one of the hardest times for fish in your pond. Temperatures are peaking, and this can cause some biological changes in the water. These changes could result in less oxygen, causing fish to suffocate. Proper pond aeration and avoidance of chemical usage in your pond during late summer are key techniques to ensure the fish in your pond survive. To learn more about fish kills and techniques to avoid them, visit our pond management page or check out our pond management guide.
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb has selected Dan Bortner to serve as the director of the Department of Natural Resources. Bortner has served as DNR’s director of Indiana State Parks since 2005 and is currently the third longest serving state parks director in the nation. As director of state parks, Bortner took the division from preparing to close facilities to consistently operating in the black with 98% saying they would recommend Indiana state parks to others. Infrastructure updated under Bortner’s leadership has led to improved campgrounds that are typically full each weekend, and our state park inns have the highest occupancy rate of any state park inn system in the country. Former director Cam Clark retired in July. Bortner began his new position on Aug. 3.
Wildlife Management staff at Patoka Lake will conduct two separate in-person drawings for two controlled mourning dove hunting opportunities on Sept. 1, 2020. The drawings will begin promptly at 6:00 a.m. (EST) at the Archery Range Shelterhouse in Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area. The first drawing will be for a staked position in a controlled dove hunt field designated for Youth Hunters only. This drawing and hunt is intended for youth (ages 12 to 17) that are new to dove hunting, and are needing mentoring in the sport. Youth participating in this drawing will be required to show proof of their youth hunting license, and must have a parent or guardian with them while they hunt. Only youth will be allowed to hunt in this field, as parents / guardians are expected to mentor and teach their respective youth hunter. A maximum of two firearms will be allowed per staked position (i.e. one parent / guardian and two youth being mentored). Approximately seven (7) staked positions are expected to be drawn for this field on Sept. 1. The second drawing will be for a staked position in a standard controlled dove hunt field. Approximately 15 to20 staked positions are expected to be drawn, and there is a maximum of two firearms per stake allowed. Hunters are reminded to procure the proper licenses, stamps, and their federal HIP number. Hunters are also reminded that they are federally required to utilize non-toxic shot of size 6 or smaller, and have their firearm plugged so that the firearm can only contain three (3) shells at any time. Hunters participating in the controlled-hunt will be limited to 50 shells. Shooting hours for both of the controlled hunts at Patoka Lake on Sept 1, will be from 6:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST). Both controlled hunt fields will be closed after 1:00 p.m. (EST). All fields surrounding the controlled sunflower field will be subject to similar time restrictions. There will be no “stand-by” or refilling of shooting stations for early departures on Sept.1, 2020. All sunflower and millet/sorghum fields will be considered open and subject to regular shooting hours starting Sept. 2, 2020. Regular shooting hours will be one half hour before sunrise to sunset through the legal season(s). Hunters should contact the Indiana Conservation Officers at (812) 837-9536 regarding specific questions on federal or state laws, statutes, and rules. Interested persons may contact the Patoka Lake Main Office between 8:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. at (812) 685-2464 if they require further information.
Indiana waters are home to nearly 30 different species of darters. Darters are members of the perch family, which contains the more recognizable walleye, sauger, and yellow perch. Darters look similar to these well-known sportfish; however, they don’t get as large. Few darters grow larger than 3-4 inches.
Three of Indiana’s 10 state endangered fish species are darters. Variegate darter, gilt darter, and channel darter were once much more widely distributed, but are now each restricted to only one unique river system in Indiana. The channel darter inhabits deeper waters of the mainstem Ohio River, and monitoring populations in this vast habitat requires some unique techniques. A Missouri trawl, specifically designed to sample smaller fish, is pulled by boat along the river’s bottom to net this tiny species for study. Many darters require special sampling practices to monitor their populations and determine their abundance.
Monitoring of Indiana’s endangered darter species is made possible by donations to the Indiana Nongame Wildlife Fund.