CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) NOT DETECTED IN INDIANA
Signs of CWD have not been detected in initial deer tissue samples collected in Indiana this past fall. State biologists and veterinarians collected tissue samples from 3,477 deer during hunting season to test for CWD, a brain-wasting condition fatal to deer. Initially, 1,361 samples were submitted to Ohio’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. No sign of CWD has been detected in the first 639 samples. The remaining 722 samples are currently being processed by the lab.
If any of the submitted samples show signs of the disease, or if any CWD-positive deer are identified within 40 miles of Indiana’s border, biologists will process additional samples. “These tests should determine if the disease is present in Indiana’s deer herd and, if it is, indicate its prevalence,” said Glenn Lange, DNR chief of wildlife. CWD is not known to cause disease in humans or other animals, but it is fatal to deer. CWD is not known to exist in Indiana, but DNR and Indiana State Board of Animal Health experts are participating in a nation-wide effort to determine the prevalence of the disease.
CWD has been confirmed in 11 states. Although most CWD-confirmed states are in the west, the disease has also been found in northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. It was first identified in cervid species (deer and elk) in Colorado 30 years ago. Yet, little is known about the disease and how it is spread. Indiana has banned importation of live deer and elk. “The health of Indiana’s deer herd is important, so we are pouring tremendous resources into this research project to make sure we have accurate information,” said Lange. More information on CWD research is available at: www.deerhealth.IN.gov
COLD WEATHER FUELS ICE FISHING FEVER
This week’s super-frigid weather has kicked icefishing season into overdrive for much of northern and central Indiana. Perennial perch fishing favorite Summit Lake, near New Castle, reports 8 inches of ice has formed over deeper waters where cold perch like to hide. “Most perch are being caught in 25- to 30-foot-deep water using insect larvae like beemoths or spikes as bait,” said assistant property manager Dan Robinson. Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area in northeast Indiana reports herds of ice anglers on property ponds, while Atterbury FWA in central Indiana reports 4 to 5 inches of ice on property ponds. “Anglers have been able to get out on the ponds for about a week,” said property manager Cary Schuyler. Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge opened refuge lakes to ice fishing on Thursday. Minnehaha FWA reports frozen small ponds, but larger lakes are still dangerous. Anglers are ice fishing on Glendale FWA ponds and on Dogwood Lake bays, but the middle of Dogwood Lake remains unfrozen. Monroe Lake reports bays are frozen, but most of the lake is still very hazardous. Except for small farm ponds, most of far southern Indiana’s lakes remain un-icefishable. Deam Lake reports very thin ice and Hardy Lake still has lots of open water. Indiana rivers remain dangerous ice fishing bets throughout the winter. DNR Fisheries Chief Bill James reminds anglers that playing or fishing on ice can be dangerous. “Every year, several Hoosiers drown after falling through thin ice,” cautioned James. “Just like driving on snow, every year Hoosiers need to take a few minutes to re-learn how to have safe fun on ice.” Ice fishing safety tips.
HUNTER SAFETY EDUCATION CLASS
Allen County 4-H will be hosting a Hunter Safety Education Class on two Saturdays – February 15 and 22, 2003. Participants must attend both days. This class is limited to 40 participants. This FREE class is co-sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources. The class will be from 8am to 3:30pm both days. It is open to adults and youth. Persons age 12 or younger must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Participants must pre-register, call 481-6826. This class usually fills up very fast.