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ORV users should acquaint themselves with traffic laws
Spaulding Outdoors
By Jack Spaulding

Many off-road vehicle (ORV) users are misinformed about pertinent laws, according to the DNR Law Enforcement Division. As use of ORVs increases with the season, so do violations involving them. To avoid fines and maximize safety, ORV users should familiarize themselves with all related regulations.

According to Conservation Officer J.P. Salb of DNR law enforcement, all ORVs operated on public property must be registered with the DNR, as must all ORVs purchased in or after 2004. Registration forms are available from most dealers, license branches, and on the Web at the DNR customer service center.

They also can be printed at www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/ohv/ohvfaq.htm

A relatively new law to help curb theft and resale of stolen ORVs also has taken effect. Owners of an ORV five model years or newer, and purchased after December 31, 2005, must obtain a certificate of title from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The law also prohibits an individual from operating an ORV required to be registered on a public highway, street, or on a public or private parking lot not specifically designated for such use, except under certain conditions. For instance, an ORV may be operated on the public right-of-way next to the traveled part of a public highway (except a limited-access highway), but only with sufficient width to allow a reasonable distance from the part traveled by general traffic.

For more basic information and to learn more about safe ORV operation, go to www.offroad-ed.com/in/handbook/

A complete copy of Indiana’s ORV laws can be accessed at: www.ai.org/legislative/ic/code/title14/ar16/ch1.html

Fishery rehab planned
The Department of Natural Resources will lower Potato Creek State Park’s Worster Lake in late summer. The lowering of the water level will help the DNR remove gizzard shad from the lake.

Gizzard shad, which are neither fun to catch nor good to eat, have become the most abundant fish in the lake.

“Gizzard shad have accounted for nearly a third of all fish collected in lake surveys conducted since 1990,” said DNR fisheries biologist Bob Robertson. “The increase in shad has been accompanied by a decrease in largemouth bass and bluegill abundance.”

The 327-acre lake in St. Joseph County will be lowered about three feet. The drawdown is expected to take three to four weeks and will be slow enough to prevent any downstream flooding along Potato Creek. The drawdown will help fishery biologists add a low concentration of liquid Rotenone to Worster Lake.

Rotenone, an EPA-approved chemical for fishery use, is selective to gizzard shad when applied in low concentrations. Shad are very sensitive to Rotenone, but a low concentration of the chemical has little or no effect on other fish or wildlife species. The DNR has successfully renovated many fisheries using low doses of Rotenone.

Fishing will be allowed throughout the fall drawdown except during the Rotenone application, scheduled for early October. Boat rental at Worster Lake will end on Labor Day; however, boat ramps will remain open as long as water levels allow.

A Potato Creek State Park map and more information is available at: www.in.gov/dnr/destinations/list.html

Indiana Trails Plan meetings
Hoosiers interested in voicing opinions and learning about the Indiana Trails Plan may attend a regional open house in their area this month. The open houses, which will give state residents unable to attend last week’s Indiana Trails Summit a chance to provide input, will be held at various locations across the state. The schedule for the meetings to be held from 6-8 p.m. local time, are:

•Indianapolis: June 22, Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park, The Garrison, 6002 N. Post Rd.

•Fort Wayne: June 27, Franke Park, pavilion 1, 3411 Sherman Blvd.

•Winslow: June 29, Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area, conference room, 2310 East SR 364.

For information on the plan or the open houses, see www.in.gov/dnr/2006trailssummit/ or call Susanna Arvin, state outdoor recreation planner at 317-232-4069.

Readers with questions or comments can contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at outdoors@cnz.com or by writing to him in care of this publication.

This farm news was published in the June 21, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

6/21/2006