Indiana State Record Catfish Tops World Record
The Indiana DNR has certified an extraordinary 7-pound brown bullhead caught on July 13 by Ronald Moeller of Dyer, Ind. as a new state record fish. Moeller's bullhead beats the existing 4.9-pound state record set in 1994. The biggest-ever Indiana bullhead also tops the current 6-pound, 5-ounce International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record brown bullhead caught in New York. Moeller pulled the world-class horned pout, measuring two feet in length, from a floodwater retention pond near U.S. 41 in Schererville. "My wife and some friends and I were bottom fishing with nightcrawlers for catfish. About an hour before dark a big fish grabbed the bait. I thought it had to be a big carp or something until it surfaced," said Moeller. Moeller weighed the fish on a state-certified scale and took the fish to local DNR fisheries biologist Jason Doll, who verified Moeller's species identification. The scale showed the fish weighed 6.955 pounds. Bullhead catfish, also called yellow bellies or horned pout, are among the first fish catches of many Hoosier youngsters. The name horned pout is derived from the fishes' sharp pectoral and dorsal spines, and a Middle English word for another fish with a big head - the freshwater sculpin. The Schererville yellow belly is also bigger than the 6-pound, 2-ounce Mississippi catfish listed by the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as the all-tackle world record brown bullhead. A 2-pound, 15-ounce yellow bass fished from Hamilton County's Morse Reservoir in 2000 by Jim Raymer of Greenfield, Ind. is also a Hoosier all-tackle world record.
Indiana Receives $59,750 Hunting Heritage Partnership Grant
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has awarded the Indiana Department of Natural Resources a $59,750 grant from its Hunting Heritage Partnership to launch a pilot program to help introduce hunter education graduates to hunting opportunities in the state.
Indiana will use the grant funds to invite hunter education graduates who lack the social support, such as that provided by family and friends with a hunting background, to special STEP OUTSIDE(R) events where they will gain valuable hunting, safety and firearms experience to start their lifelong pursuit. Social support is the critical factor in getting started in hunting and a major barrier to entry for those that lack support. "More than 20,000 kids and adults attend Indiana's hunter education classes each year to learn about safety and our wildlife heritage. Working with conservation-minded volunteers, we hope to better mentor these students and give them the support they need to become active, involved, ethical hunters," said Glen Salmon, Indiana DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife director. The Hunting Heritage Partnership was established by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearm industry, to provide direct funding to state wildlife agencies to help them with programs that provide opportunities for, and remove barriers to, hunter participation. "Officials with Indiana's Division of Fish and Wildlife have designed a unique and dynamic recruitment tool and this grant recognizes their successful efforts and helps them with the launch. This is exactly the kind of creative program development that agencies in other states can look to as a model to help preserve our hunting and conservation traditions," said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Indiana's 874,000 anglers and 290,000 hunters spent $846 million in Indiana in 2001 in pursuit of their pastime, which supported 16,000 jobs in the state. Efforts to expand hunting, such as youth pheasant hunting days, help boost the economy in a state where nearly one of every six Indiana residents hunt or fish, generating over $50 million in state tax revenue. "When more hunters go afield, everyone benefits. The contributions hunters and anglers make in unique taxes paid and fees collected fund conservation efforts for all Indiana residents to enjoy," said Steve Williams, director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Applications from 36 states were submitted to the Hunting Heritage Partnership and over $500,000 in grants was awarded to 18 states for programs focusing on issues from recruitment and retention of hunters to increasing access to hunting lands. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is working with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and members of Congress on behalf of America's 18 million hunters to provide states with additional funding opportunities through the Hunting Heritage Partnership. Information on NSSF and STEP OUTSIDE(R) is available at: http://www.nssf.org/
Pheasant Hunts Scaled Back At Huntington Reservoir
Summer's heavy rains have squeezed put-and-take pheasant hunting at J. Edward Roush Lake (Huntington Reservoir). Daily put-and-take pheasant hunt participation will be cut back. Typically, a maximum of 250 people per day were permitted to hunt. This year the maximum will be 190. Hunts are scheduled to start Nov. 22. Hunters are encouraged to participate at other properties that host put-and-take pheasant hunts - Atterbury, Glendale, Pigeon River, Tri County, Willow Slough and Winamac Fish and Wildlife areas.