WAYNEDALE WOODS AND WATERS

ONLINE APPLICATION FOR CONTROLLED AND SPECIAL HUNTS

Hoosiers who want to participate in deer reductions and special hunts at state properties this fall will have a one-stop online method for applying.

The change centralizes the application process for such programs. Previously, each category of state property required a separate application. The online service also provides the user with automatic notification of errors. The site on which the applications are posted is www.indianaoutdoor.IN.gov.

This year’s hunt application deadlines, with the first date listed the mail-in date and the second listed the online date, are: DNR property dove hunts (July 28; Aug. 4); military/refuge deer hunt (Aug. 18; Aug. 25), state park deer reduction hunt (Aug. 18; Aug. 25), Goose Pond Upland game hunt (Sept. 15; Sept. 30), pheasant hunt (Sept. 22; Oct. 6).

The application process for the wild turkey hunt starts Jan. 1, 2007. The mail-in deadline is March 2, 2007. The online deadline is March 16, 2007.

“The advantage of the online system is that it will tell you when you’ve made a mistake,” said Kyle Hupfer, DNR director. “In the past, a great many applications were disqualified, either because of errors or because the typist couldn’t read the applicant’s writing.”

Other options are available for those who cannot use the online method. Individuals with access to the DNR Web site on a computer can print an application to complete by hand, then mail it. Preprinted paper applications are available at state parks, reservoirs, and fish and wildlife areas for applicants to complete and mail in; however, the properties will not enter applicants’ information online for them.

With the online process in place, the application cards have been eliminated from the hunting guide.

If none of these options is convenient, individuals can call a toll-free number (877) 463-6367 to request that a form be mailed to them.

 

DNR SCIENTISTS RADIO TRACK HYBRID BASS 

In the murky depths of Monroe Lake, a biomystery unfolds. Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists are unraveling the migration habits of hybrid striped bass, a brutal predatory gamefish commonly called wipers, using radio transmitters and U. S. Department of Defense GPS satellites.

In April, DNR fisheries biologist Kevin Hoffman and his team implanted electronic transmitters in 30 wipers. Every two weeks, the wiper team races around the entire 11,000-acre lake near Bloomington tracking the free-roaming crossbred fish.

Biologists have some hunches about the movements of these open-water fish. And wiper anglers have had success catching wipers near the dam and along beaches in early spring and late fall. But proven wiper-whereabout facts are scarce. The DNR wiper team’s research has already yielded surprises.

“There is not a lot of scientific literature on hybrid striped bass habitat selection and movement, so this study is breaking some new ground,” said Brian Schoenung, South Region Fisheries Supervisor. “The first two tracking runs have surprised us with just how far these critters roam. These fish use the entire lake in the same way you use your backyard.”

Schoenung says the tracking team found fish all the way up to Crooked Creek Recreation Area several days after tagging the fish near the dam. Some fish moved into the upper reaches of the lake and back.

“We didn’t expect the wipers to use the upper end of Monroe Lake as much as they do,” said Schoenung.

To track the wipers, Hoffman and his team use a boat specially outfitted to receive signals from the transmitters in the fish.

The transmitter is placed inside the fish and has an antenna that protrudes from the wiper’s belly. Every other week, all transmitters emit signals and the tracking team works quickly to get accurate wiper data, often motoring around the lake at a good clip, sometimes late into the evening and through idle zones.

“The goal,” Schoenung said, “is to determine what the thermal, dissolved oxygen and habitat preferences are for wipers, so we can tell beforehand if a stocking in another lake is likely to be successful.”

Wipers are popular gamefish stocked by the Indiana DNR into several Indiana shallow, warm reservoirs to help control prolific gizzard shad populations.

David Coffman from Frankfort caught the state-record hybrid striped bass in May 2005. Coffman caught the record fish below Lake Freeman’s Oakdale Dam.

The white bass/striped bass hybrid weighed 22 pounds, and was 32 inches long. The fish’s tail fin spanned a foot rule. “The fish was like something you would see in the ocean,” said Coffman.

The best lakes in Indiana for adding wiper poundage to your stringer are Monroe Lake or lakes Freeman and Shafer near Monticello. Big wipers are also often caught below Ohio River dams.

Wipers will attack a wide variety of cast or trolled lures or baits. They also have a taste for light-colored Clouser Minnow-style flies. These powerful fish are a genetic cross between white bass and striped bass and resemble their temperate bass cousins, striped bass, white bass and yellow bass.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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