Indiana conservation officers are investigating the accidental unearthing of human remains, as Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials speculate that the bones found last week near Walkerton may be from an old burial site from more than 100 years ago.
According to Indiana Conservation Officer Seth Owens, on Sept. 25 several bones including a human skull were unearthed in the 68000 block of Walnut Road near Walkerton. Conservation officers, St. Joseph County police and Metro Homicide all responded to the site. The accidental unearthing of the bones was done by the removal of peat to construct a pond on the landowner’s property.
Owens said the DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology has been contacted and has set up a site survey. The survey will be conducted by Cardno JFNew out of Walkerton. The job of the archeologist will be to determine the size of the site and to help preserve the area and its integrity for any others buried there.
Officers would like to remind Hoosiers there are laws prohibiting the deliberate unearthing of historical artifacts in Indiana.
If you should accidentally unearth a protected artifact, you should stop and contact a conservation officer immediately, at 812-837-9536.
Learn to Fish Workshop for the whole family
The last Family Learn to Fish Workshop of the year will be conducted on Oct. 20 at the Natural Resources Education Center (NREC) at Fort Harrison State Park. If you have ever wanted to teach your family (and learn) how to fish, this workshop is the place to be.
These are free three-hour workshops for families on the third Saturday of most months. Families will meet first at the NREC and learn a little fish biology and some basic fishing skills. Participants will then have the opportunity to practice fishing at Delaware Lake in Fort Harrison State Park.
No experience is needed. No fishing license is required during the workshop. All fishing equipment will be provided. Children must be age 6 or older. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
To register, email nrec@dnr.IN.gov or call 317-562-1338. For questions on the details of the workshop, email Clint Kowalik (Go FishIN coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anglers should watch for marked Chinook salmon
The Indiana DNR has a message for Chinook salmon anglers this fall: If it’s missing a fin, please turn it in. Specifically, the message refers to a missing adipose fin, which identifies Chinook salmon as part of a multi-state research project to study the movement of the species in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
Anglers this fall on Trail Creek, the Little Calumet system, Salt Creek and the Lake Michigan area near Buffington Harbor and East Chicago should watch for Chinook salmon with a missing adipose fin.
Anglers who catch one are asked to bring the fish’s head to the DNR Lake Michigan fisheries research station at 100 W. Water Street, Michigan City, during normal business hours. On weekends, anglers may take the fish heads to Lake Michigan Tackle, 1315 Franklin Street, or Chief’s Bait Shop, 1114 W. Fourth Street (U.S. Highway 12); both locations are in Michigan City.
The adipose fin is a small fin on the top of the fish, near the tail (see above graphic). Since 2011, state agencies in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois have been clipping the adipose fins of all hatchery-raised Chinook salmon to distinguish the fish from naturally reproduced fish, and to represent that the fish have been injected with a small micro tag in their snouts.
The micro tag has a numeric code telling researchers where the fish was stocked. The DNR asks anglers to deliver only the heads of the fish and not the entire carcass. It is important for anglers to provide date of capture, location of capture, length of the fish and weight of the fish when possible. Cooperation from anglers will provide valuable assistance to biologists working on the research project.
Most of the fish will be 16-25 inches long and are from the 2011 year class. This fall will be the first year in which many of the marked Chinook salmon will return to streams to spawn.
DNR fisheries biologists will scan the fish head to determine if a tag is present. They will then freeze the head and provide it to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for tag extraction. During the spring, nearly 100 of the Chinooks were collected during the tournament season.
For more information, or to arrange the delivery of a fish head, call Brian Breidert at the DNR Lake Michigan fisheries research station, 219-874-6824.
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 email@example.com or by writing to him in care of this publication.