SCHOOL’S OUT FISHING IS IN!
Free Fishing Weekend-June 12 and 13
“I caught one!” What a neat thing to hear a kid say. Since the dawn of humankind, teaching a kid to fish has been among the most satisfying and rewarding experiences.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has some tips for getting a kid safely hooked on fishing, and the DNR throws in Free Fishing Weekend (June12-13) so that adults and kids have an excuse to find fun new fishing holes.
Beginner fishing tips
– Every angler needs a fishing hat. Besides protection from glare and sun, the bill of the hat over sunglasses shields eyes and head from first casts with hook and line.
Check your back. Ask an apprentice caster to look back before casting to make sure people, animals or obstructions are not in the way.
– Fish handling. Teach kids the appropriate way to handle fish to prevent small bites and fin pricks, as well as injury to the fish
– Be safe and comfortable. Take along sun screen, kid-safe insect repellent, a small first aid kit, life vest and, of course, some snacks and plenty to drink. And don’t pull back hard on a snagged line. It could spring back and hurt someone.
– Quick Success. Kids love to catch fish, any size fish. So your best bet for kid fishing success is to look for bluegill or their panfish cousins —they are usually plentiful and scrappy. The basic hook, worm and bobber rig is still the best way to catch these fish. Panfish have small mouths, so use a size 10 or smaller hook, and the bait should just barely cover the hook.
Love our natural resources. If the fish aren’t biting, looking for bait can be just as fun as fishing. Look for bugs under rocks. Take along a net to catch grasshoppers. Or, skip some stones. Talk about the weather. Poke stuff with sticks. Climb a tree. Teach the kids what poison ivy looks like. And use some of the leftover lunch crumbs to surface feed the fish. The ones that aren’t biting always seem to find the bread and cracker crumbs.
For more panfish fishing basics, check out: www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/fish/fishing/bobber.htm
June 12 and 13, 2004 is Indiana’s Free Fishing Weekend. Hoosiers don’t need a fishing license during this weekend. More than 30 public properties are hosting free fishing events for kids. For more information visit: www.ai.org/dnr/fishwild/fish/freefish/freefish.html
DNR ASKS TEACHERS TO ASSIST WITH GIANT AFRICAN LAND SNAIL
As Hoosier teachers wrap up another school year, the DNR is asking them to be careful of an unwanted visitor they may have in the classroom. State Entomologist Dr. Robert Waltz believes there may be a number of teachers in Indiana who have giant African land snails in their classrooms this year.
“These snails have become popular as teaching aids,” Waltz said. “However it is very important that teachers not dispose of them and never let them loose into the environment.”
Anyone in possession of a giant African land snail should call the DNR, toll free, at 1-877-463-6367 or the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Gary Simon, state plant health director, in Lafayette at 765-446-0267. The DNR or USDA will make arrangements for someone to pick up the snails and properly dispose of them.
On May 7 the state announced a quarantine of the snails that said, in part, no person in Indiana may “possess, offer for sale, sell, give away, barter, exchange, or otherwise distribute or release a giant African land snail, in any life stage.” A federal quarantine has been in place for a number of years.
Waltz, said the giant African land snail is considered to be the most threatening to the environment of any land snail in the world. “This creature is known to eat hundreds of different types of plants including some grown as crops in Indiana,” Waltz said.
State health officials warn that individuals can become ill if they ingest snails that have not been completely cooked. The snails can carry the rat lung worm, which can cause individuals who eat raw or undercooked snails to develop meningitis and to suffer from permanent neurological damage.
Although rat lung worm has not been reported in Indiana, state health officials are concerned it could have been imported from tropical areas. Scientists believe the giant African land snail is originally from East Africa. It is now commonly found throughout the Indo-Pacific Basin,including the Hawaiian islands.
According to the USDA, in 1966, a Miami, Fla. boy smuggled three giant African snails into south Florida upon returning from a trip to Hawaii. His grandmother eventually released the snails into her garden.
Seven years later, more than 18,000 snails had been found along with scores of eggs. The Florida’s eradication program took 10 years at a cost of $1 million.
City Working to Reduce Mosquito Population, Fort Wayne, IN – Mayor Graham Richard today announced that the City’s public works and utilities division is placing Altosid briquets in nearly 3,000 catch basins. Altosid is an insect growth regulator that is used to reduce the mosquito population. This is the second year the City has placed Altosid in catch basins.
Catch basins in the combined sewer area are being treated because they are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The area is bounded by Coliseum Boulevard on the north and east, Paulding Road on the south and the St. Marys River on the west.
The placing of Altosid briquets in catch basins was a recommendation of the Mayor’s West Nile B.E.S.T. Team that looked at ways to prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus. “We are confident that our mosquito control efforts will make our City safer,” Mayor Richard said. “We have made significant investments in prevention and education measures to protect residents from mosquitoes. Our efforts will help us as we work to build a better City.” Earlier this month, the City collected 1,300 tires during the Great American Cleanup. Each tire can produce 10,000 mosquitoes during the breeding season. By collecting the tires, there will be 13 million less mosquitoes in the City this year.
Fourth Annual St. Joe River Team Bass Tournament, to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
This tournament takes place at Cedarville Reservoir DNR Access Site, on Sunday, July 11, 2004. The entry fee is $60 per team, with registration and check-in starting a 5:00am. Only the first 60 entries will be accepted.
Prizes are: $600 First Place, Biggest Bass $200, 2nd Biggest Bass, $100. At least one place paid for every 7 entries (prizes based on 40 boats). 100% of the proceeds benefit MS.
Call Charles Haddix at 747-5435 for more information.
Fort Wayne’s Pro Tackle Center / The Bait & Hook Store, presents the 2004 Wednesday Singles Tournament Trail.
7am-3pm, one man per boat, $50 entry (including big bass) with standard tournament rules.
May 5, Lake James; June 16, Crooked Lake; July 7, Sylvan Lake; August 18, Lake Wawasee; September 8, Lake Wawasee. Call Fort Wayne’s Pro-Tackle Center at 747-4883 for more information.
The Fort Wayne Community Club Presents Fishing Derby #8
Fun, food, prizes for the biggest fish, and clinics. Free for children 16 and under, for all others a free-will donation will be accepted. The Derby will be held on Friday, June 4th and Saturday, June 5th, at Reservoir Park Pond, for more information call Lafayette Bait and Tackle, 456-1616.
FOX ISLAND EVENTS
Breakfast with the Birds
When: Wednesday, June 16, 7:30-9pm
Where: Fox Island County Park’s Wildlife Observation Building, 7324 Yohne Rd.
Join Bob Dispenza of Allen County Parks as we explore the world of the park’s tiny dynamo. Meet at Fox Island’s Wildlife Observation Building (the round building straight in from the entrance) for a talk and a hike. Continental breakfast provided. Fee is $3.00 per person. Please reserve space by calling 449-3180.
Preschool Program-Flower Fun
When: Thursday, June 17, 10am or 2 pm
Where: Fox Island Nature Center, 7324 Yohne Road
Children 3-5 years old (with an adult companion) are invited to Fox Island County Park to learn more about the life of our plant friends. We’ll explore the flowers that bloom and how they live, read a story about flowers, make a craft related to flowers and have a snack during this hour-long program. Join Bob Dispenza at 10am or 2pm. Class fee is $3.00 per child. Call 449-3180 to reserve your space.
Summer Day Camp at Fox Island County Park
Currently accepting registrations. Choose from 7 sessions-Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, $90 per camper per session.
Don’t let summer pass your kids by without spending a week at Fox Island. The camp is geared for kids between 6 and 11 years old. For more information call 449-3180.