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Boating fees for water projects in 15 counties
Spaulding Outdoors
By Jack Spaulding

Good news is coming to Indiana’s public lakes and rivers in the form of project grants totaling $536,850 from the Lake and River Enhancement Program (LARE) in DNR’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. The funds will be used for protection and restoration of the state’s public waters.

“These grants continue a tradition of using fees collected from Hoosier boaters to protect and enhance the very resources they value for their recreational pursuits, Indiana’s lakes and streams,” said DNR Director Kyle Hupfer. “These projects were proposed by local sponsors to improve aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife and enhance the recreational opportunities of these watery treasures. “The grants provide financial assistance to local groups in tackling natural resources issues that can be very expensive to address, and must be solved with long-term planning and diligence.”

The grants are for biological and engineering projects including diagnostic, design, and engineering feasibility studies, as well as construction projects. They complement the $1.25 million in grant awards announced by Hupfer in May. Those awards were for dealing with nuisance aquatic vegetation and dredging sediment.

Funding for the targeted projects comes from the LARE fee paid by boat owners. In 2003 the legislature provided a variable fee based on the value of each boat. The new fee structure provides approximately $3.3 million each year, a third of which must be used by the DNR for lake projects for removing sediment or controlling exotic or invasive plants or animals. The remaining two-thirds must be split between the DNR Division of Law Enforcement and the LARE program.

The law enforcement division uses its share to help fund local boating safety programs.

July 2006 grant projects follow:

Palestine Lake (Kosciusko), $37,800; Hudson Lake (La Porte), $31,500; Blue Lake (Whitley), $31,500; Lake Wawasee (Kosciusko), $21,600; Lake Gage (Steuben), $28,800; Witmer, Westler, Dallas, Hackenburg and Messick Lakes (LaGrange), $36,000; Lake George (Lake), $50,000; Lake Maxinkuckee (Marshall), $18,450; Crooked Lake (Steuben), Lake Manitou (Fulton), Lake Wawasee (Kosciusko), $36,000; Black Creek (Steuben), $36,000; Highland Park Drain (Kosciusko), $23,700; Duck Creek (Franklin), $18,000; Little Wabash River (Allen, Huntington and Whitley), $29,500; Middle Mississinewa River (Blackford, Delaware, Grant), $36,000; and Upper Tippecanoe River Lakes (Whitley/Noble), $72,000: Award is for a diagnostic study/strategic management plan for the following lakes: Goose, New, Old, Loon, Big, Crane and Crooked.

Mighty Mississinewa Triathlon
Tri-athletes who haven’t registered to compete in the Mighty Mississinewa Triathlon on Sept. 9 have until Wednesday, Sept. 6 to do so online at

Events include a 500-yard swim starting and ending at the Mississinewa Reservoir beach. The 16.3-mile bike race will go around the reservoir. The four-mile run will be conducted on the old Frances Slocum Trail road and the Moswa hiking trail. Staging and parking areas will be at the beach pavilion.

Entry fees are $30 per individual, $60 per team, and $15 per individual 20 years and younger.

For paper registration, call the property, 765-473-6528. Class AA, A and B campsites at Mississinewa Lake are available to be reserved for that weekend.

On-site check-in on Sept. 9 runs from 7 to 7:30 a.m. Following the mandatory 8 a.m. safety meeting at the beach pavilion, the event will start at 8:30 a.m.

Mississinewa Reservoir is located in north central Indiana, 65 miles north of Indianapolis, 65 miles northwest of Muncie, 65 miles east of Lafayette, and 65 miles southwest of Ft. Wayne. Directions to the race can be obtained by going to online and entering the following address: 4673 S 625 E, Peru, IN 46970.

Race proceeds will go toward a fund managed by Indiana Heritage Trust. The fund will be used to purchase ground for conservation and management for future generations to use and enjoy around Mississinewa Reservoir. Sponsors are Peru Automotive, NAPA, Wendy’s and Miami Beverage, Inc.

Crunchy crust for frying fish
Commercial fish batters are a lot like a two edged sword. Many of the commercial batters fry up crisp and might appear perfect, but some are overpowering and difficult to digest. That is why I make my own.

For an appealing fish breading with a satisfying crunch, I use this simple recipe:

1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 T. Adobo Spice (Adobo is a mixture of sea salt and garlic powder)
Combine all dry ingredients into a large plastic bag and shake well to blend.

In a separate bowl, put a fourth cup of plain flour and add one half cup of water or beer. Whisk the mixture until it is a runny slurry.

Dip the fish pieces in the wet batter and drop them into the bag of dry ingredients. Shake to coat each piece and carefully place the fish pieces into a deep fryer in 320 degree peanut or canola oil. Fry for 4 to 6 minutes until crispy and done. Serve immediately.

Readers with questions or comments can contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at

This farm news was published in the Sept. 6, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.