It's a little more sophisticated than sticking your finger in the wind...or the river in this case. Helping determine water quality in Hoosier lakes and streams takes some fancy equipment.
Again this year more Hoosiers will be a part of monitoring the health of their local river or stream. The DNR is again using federal funds to support the Hoosier Riverwatch program in Indiana to provide the necessary equipment.
Not-for-profit organizations, public agencies, environmental groups, and schools are among those eligible for equipment. Since 1996, approximately 520 volunteer groups have received equipment and have started monitoring local waterways.
The equipment packages include chemical testing kits, nets for collecting aquatic life, and manuals for monitoring water quality.
Recipients are required to attend a free training workshop sponsored by DNR's Riverwatch.
The DNR's Division of Fish and Wildlife sponsors the Hoosier Riverwatch program. It is a statewide education and community action program that focuses on local river and stream stewardship.
The equipment packages, funded by the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program, will help many schools and other interested groups throughout the state establish river stewardship and watershed monitoring programs.
Applications must be sent to Hoosier Riverwatch by March 15, 2005.
Reserved wild turkey hunt applications due March 15
Reserved turkey hunts are available at 17 Indiana DNR properties, two national wildlife refuges and a military area for the upcoming spring turkey season, which runs April 27 through May 15.
The deadline for reserved hunt applications is March 15. Hunters may apply for reserved turkey hunts by completing the application card in Indiana's 2004-05 Hunting and Trapping Guide, available at DNR properties, wherever hunting licenses are sold, or by calling (317) 232-4080.
Hunters must have a valid turkey, lifetime or youth hunting license to apply. Applicants will be selected by random drawing and will be notified of results by mail.
Jasper-Pulaski, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac Fish and Wildlife areas and Roush Lake, Mississinewa and Salamonie reservoirs will conduct five, three-day reserved hunts and two, two-day reserved hunts. Hunting dates for these areas are: April 27 through 30 & May 1 through 15.
Atterbury, Crosley, Glendale, Fairbanks Landing, Hovey Lake, Splinter Ridge, Hillenbrand and Minnehaha fish and wildlife areas and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge will hold two, three-day reserved hunts. The hunting dates for these areas are: April 27 through 30 & May 1 & 2
Hunters interested in reserving dates at Fairbanks Landing FWA should write "Fairbanks" above the Atterbury FWA choice on the application card. Application cards in the hunting and trapping guide were published before Fairbanks Landing became accessible to the public.
Hunters who have already applied for reserved hunts at other properties cannot apply for Fairbanks Landing hunts, as a hunter chosen for two hunts would take a reserved hunt opportunity away from a fellow hunter. After the reserved hunts, Crosley, Fairbanks Landing, Splinter Ridge, Glendale, Hovey Lake, Hillenbrand and Minnehaha Fish and Wildlife areas will be open for turkey hunting from May 3 to the end of the season on May 15.
If necessary, a daily drawing may be held each morning at the property to allocate hunting locations. A hunter must obtain a daily hunting permit at the property's check station to legally hunt on these Fish and Wildlife areas.
Kankakee and Sugar Ridge fish and wildlife areas and several reservoirs will offer self-service check-in hunting for the entire spring wild turkey season, April 27 to May 15, 2005.
Camp Atterbury AMTA
Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area conducts five, two-day hunts at Camp Atterbury Army Military Training Area. Camp Atterbury reserved hunts take place on the following dates:
April 27 & 28, May 2 through 5, & May 9 through 12. Hunter Education certification is required to hunt at Camp Atterbury.
For 2005, only the individual hunters selected will be permitted to hunt on most properties. Selected hunters will not be allowed to bring a partner. However, hunters drawn to hunt Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge will still be required to bring a partner to hunt.
Selected hunters must be checked in at the property check station by 4:30 a.m. each morning of their hunt. Hunting spots that are not claimed by 4:30 a.m. will be filled with stand-by hunters. Roush Lake, Mississinewa, Splinter Ridge, and Salamonie reservoirs will not conduct no-show drawings.
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge will also be open to special permit turkey hunting for 13 days during the 2005 spring turkey season. Ten weekday morning hunt permits per day will be issued for the refuge hunting area. Prospective Muscatatuck NWR turkey hunters can apply by filling out the reserved wild turkey hunt application inserted in the Indiana 2004-2005 Hunting and Trapping Guide. Muscatatuck is also not listed on the card, but hunters can write in and check Muscatatuck without indicating a choice of date. Hunters selected in the random drawing will be randomly assigned only one day. There is no choice of hunting dates.
All applications should be mailed to Atterbury FWA. For additional information, call the property office where you wish to hunt.