Time is running out for submitting online applications for reserved turkey hunts to be held on certain state and federally owned properties. The application period runs through March 24 at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5834.htm.
New for 2014, DNR will offer a reserved hunt at Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in southwestern Indiana.
Hunters must possess a valid 2014 spring turkey license, or lifetime license or youth hunt/trap license to apply for any of the reserved hunts. Applicants are allowed to apply for one property, and choose from the available dates for the property.
Whether a drawn hunter may bring along a hunting buddy varies by property. On DNR properties, drawn hunters are not allowed to bring a buddy. At Muscatatuck National Willdlife Refuge, drawn hunters may bring a buddy, but only the drawn hunter may hunt. At Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, a buddy is required.
Hunt dates and properties are as follows:
— Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge: April 23-24, 25-26, 27-28, and 29-30.
— Deer Creek, Glendale, J.E. Roush, Jasper-Pulaski, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac fish & wildlife areas; Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes; and Aukiki Wetland Conservation Area: April 23-25, 26-27, 28-30, and May 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-11.
— Atterbury, Chinook, Crosley, Fairbanks Landing, Hillenbrand, Hovey Lake and Minnehaha fish and wildlife areas, and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge: April 23-25, 26-28.
— Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area: April 23-25, 26-27.
Winter Fish Kills
Owners of shallow ponds and lakes, especially in northern Indiana, should watch for fish kills this spring. Considering the record or near-record snowfall and ice up to 20 inches thick on lakes and ponds, Indiana fisheries biologists anticipate numerous reports of fish kills once the bodies of water thaw.
The most common cause of fish kills in Indiana ponds is lack of oxygen. Aquatic plants produce oxygen only when sunlight is available. While some sunlight penetrates clear ice, snow can block sunlight, resulting in dangerously low oxygen levels.