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Indiana hunters may now check game by phone
Spaulding Outdoors
Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has added a phone-in option for fall turkey and the deer firearms seasons. The DNR online CheckIN Game system now offers hunters the option to report their harvested game from any telephone.

Hunters who use the option will talk to a live person who will enter their information into the online CheckIN Game system. The phone-in option is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the fall turkey and all deer seasons.

The number is 800-419-1326. Because of staffing costs, a $3 fee will be charged for each CheckIN telephone transaction. Payment can be made by Visa or MasterCard only.

The online system and on-site check stations remain free options for hunters to check in game. To access CheckIN Game online, visit www.checkingame.dnr.IN.gov

Before using the phone-in option, hunters should have their customer IDs and all harvest information ready. Customer ID numbers can be found on any hunting, fishing or trapping license. Lifetime license holders and hunters who do not have their customer IDs will be able to look up their number through the phone system.

Once a transaction is completed, hunters will be given a confirmation number, which must be written on their temporary transportation tags.

“The new phone-in option allows hunters who do not have Internet access the ability to check-in their game from home or in the field with a mobile phone,” said Mark Reiter, Division of Fish & Wildlife director. “This makes check-in easy and convenient for all hunters.”

Catfish to be released from federal prison

No, “Catfish” is not the nickname of a federal prisoner at Terre Haute. The catfish in question will be not one, but 5,000, which will be raised for release into Indiana state waters.

In a partnership between the DNR and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), inmates at Terre Haute’s Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) will raise channel catfish for DNR’s new urban fishing program and walleyes for selected northern Indiana lakes. The cooperative project serves two purposes: increasing fishing opportunities for Indiana anglers and providing education and long-term training for inmates.

Under the program, the fish will be hatched at DNR facilities and then moved to the prison, where they will be grown to stocking size and released into Indiana waters.

A ceremony to dedicate the partnership was Nov. 15. DNR and prison officials were on hand for a ribbon-cutting and to transfer the 5,000 catfish to the prison. Twelve lakes in Indiana’s urban areas will be stocked with the fish in the summer of 2013.

In addition to fish, DNR will provide technical assistance and all fish feed. The BOP will provide all labor and infrastructure. The Terre Haute prison dedicated an indoor fish-growing and aquaponics facility in fall 2011 as part of a larger initiative to teach inmates farm science skills.

The joint effort will not be restricted to catfish. The first walleye stocking from the prison program is scheduled for the fall of 2013. The DNR and BOP have drafted a two-year implementation plan, with expectations the partnership will be long-term.

The release of the 5,000 catfish will play a key role in supporting one of DNR’s newest initiatives, the urban fishing program, known as Go FishIN in the City. The goal of the program is to make fishing more available to residents in Indiana cities.

Carp kill at Brookville Lake attributed to virus

According to the DNR, a virus was responsible for a fish kill of hundreds, if not thousands, of common carp at Brookville Lake this fall. The virus, known as koi herpes virus (KHV), showed up in examinations of carp collected from the lake and sent to the Purdue University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing.
KHV affects common carp and koi, which is a carp species commonly stocked in ornamental ponds and widespread in the aquaculture industry. Related species such as goldfish and grass carp can be carriers of the virus and transmit it to susceptible fish, but they do not appear to be affected by it.

There is no evidence KHV affects native minnows or Asian carp, and it poses no human health risk.

Reports of sick and dying carp at Brookville Lake were first conveyed to DNR in mid-September. KHV was first found in Indiana in 2011 and attributed to fish kills in the St. Joseph River in Elkhart County and at a private lake in Daviess County.

The long-term impacts of KHV on fisheries at Brookville Lake and elsewhere around the state are unknown; however, KHV is present in most of the state and is likely to cause additional fish kills.
Anglers and boaters can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by doing the following:

•Dispose of unused bait after a fishing trip rather than releasing it or saving it and using it somewhere else

•Drain and dry or disinfect all equipment before moving to another waterway

•Refrain from releasing fish caught in one body of water into another body of water

More information on invasive species and how the public can help prevent their spread is at www.Invasive Species.IN.gov

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Jack Spaulding may contact him by email at jackspaulding@hughes.net or by writing to him in care of this publication.
11/29/2012