It's time to think about renewing those fishing and hunting licenses for 2004. Your present license is only good to the end of February. Don't forget; if you are over the age of 65 you can fish FREE from here on out in Indiana. All you have to do is carry a driver's license or some form of identification that says that you are 65 years of age or over. I think this also includes not having to buy a trout stamp but better check the Indiana fishing regulations to make sure. I just got this information from an IDNR bulletin about - the best places to fish in Indiana for the next few months.
January - If the weather stays cold, it's hard to beat perennial perch fishing favorite Summit Lake, near New Castle, for ice fishing. Try fishing frozen bays for big bluegill or under thick ice over deeper waters where cold perch like to hide. Locals use minnows, small worms or bee moth larvae as bait. Check at the park office for bait ideas and safe ice areas.
February - Young Lake Michigan coho salmon often show up in Indiana warm water discharge areas and lake harbors as early as February. Try orange-colored spinners or plugs on the terminal end of some light tackle. Grill fillets with butter and lemon over apple wood coals. Want to know where the public fishing access sites in Indiana are? Just pull up:
Locally-Don't overlook the good fishing at Fox Island if you don't want to travel very far. Oh, and I've found a good way to teach your kids how to fish for bass. Take them carp fishing below the Huntington Dam. The carp are plentiful, fun to catch, and they are great training for teaching a kid to reel in a nice fighting fish like a bass, pike, or coho. And they are good to eat. When carp are caught in clean water they can be baked, fried, and canned. When they are smoked they taste just like salmon. All you need is a can of corn for bait.
AMPHIBIAN ENTHUSIASTS NEEDED TO HELP MONITOR INIDANA FROG AND TOAD POPULATIONS
Speculation of a nationwide decline in frogs and toads has prompted the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to ask Hoosiers to leap into action. The DNR is looking for volunteers to participate in the Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program. Volunteers are needed to listen for frogs and toads from late February through July, the breeding seasons of Indiana's amphibians. Surveys are conducted at night, usually after rainy days, or on misty nights, when frogs and toads give their breeding calls. Information collected by volunteers will help DNR biologists better understand the distribution and abundance of amphibians in Indiana. Volunteers must attend a training workshop in order to participate in the survey. Past participants are not required to attend.‑ Each training workshop covers Indiana's 17 frog and toad species, their calls and breeding habitats, setting up surveys, and recording data.
Registration is not required to attend a training workshop. Attendees are asked to bring pen and paper to the workshop.‑ Participants must be 18 or older.‑ Anyone interested in volunteering is urged to come to a workshop and sign up for a survey route. The Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program is part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) by the U.S. Geological Survey.‑ Two survey methods will be utilized starting this spring: national routes and stationary sites. National routes are driving routes that take one to two hours to complete, not including drive time to the survey area. Stationary sites are completed at frog and toad breeding sites. Surveys are repeated three times during the breeding season.‑ Internet access is required to participate in the program. Information on Indiana's Amphibian Monitoring Program is available online at: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/endangered/naamp/nindex.htm.
Training in the Fort Wayne area: Saturday, January 24, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. IPFW Science Building (SB 168)(Park in Lots 7 and 9) http://www.ipfw.edu/maps.
This program is funded by donations to the Endangered Wildlife Fund on the Indiana State income tax form.‑ Look for the eagle and donate all or a portion of your state tax refund to keep frogs and toads 'hopping' in Indiana.
I did not write that last sentence. I'll see you all out there in the woods or on the water.
REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2004 MASTER GARDENER YOUTH PROGRAM
The Allen County Master Gardener Youth program is a summer educational program offered by Purdue Cooperative Extension for kids ages 7-14. Young adults interested in gardening receive hands-on training, tours, and outdoor labs at the Allen County Extension office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 9AM-11:30AM. The young adults also plant and maintain their own garden area. In 2004, training sessions begin in mid-June and conclude in mid-July. The fee for the training is $30.00 (due at first orientation session).
Visit or contact the Allen County Extension office at 481-6926 (option 3) and ask for an application. The application is also available on-line at www.ces.purdue.edu/allen. The Purdue Master Gardener Youth volunteer training program is limited to 20 students each year.
Ricky D. Kemery, Allen County Horticulture Educator
4 H DOG OBEDIENCE PROGRAM TO BEGIN IN MARCH
Allen County 4-H is offering a series of workshops this spring and summer on dog obedience training. The program is open to youth that are in grades 3-12. Young people can learn how to train their family dog to be more obedient. The dog should be at least six months of age. Youth will learn how to teach their dog to heel on a leash, stand for examination, sit, stay, and much more. They will also learn about the health, care and grooming of their dog.
The cost of the program is $25. The meetings will be held on Mondays, at the Home Loan Building, Allen County Fairgrounds, 2726 Carroll Road, Fort Wayne. All participants must pre-register, pay fees and complete their paperwork by February 20. Class size is limited. For more information and registration materials, contact Barb Thuma, Extension Educator, 4-H/Youth at 481-6826.