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Goose reduction hunts set for Whitewater State Park
 
Whitewater Memorial State Park will hold goose reduction hunts during regular goose season. The purpose is to manage the growing population of Canada geese, which threatens the park’s ecosystem and potentially the safety of park patrons.

The park will remain open to visitors during the hunts. Notices will be posted at the office, gatehouse, beach road and boat dock ramp. Visitors are cautioned to be aware of hunting activity. The number of hunts and dates are yet to be determined.

Whitewater Memorial is in Indiana’s Central Waterfowl Zone, where the regular goose season is Nov. 3-Dec. 25 and Jan. 7-27.
Hunters should call Brookville/Whitewater wildlife specialist Tom Carr at 765-647-2657, ext. 216, for the exact hunt dates. Carr will also provide a blind location and a permit. If interest is high, hunters may have to enter a drawing for a spot.

Morning shooting hours will start at one-half hour before sunrise and last for two hours. Evening shooting hours will be the two hours before sunset. All decoys, portable blinds and other hunting equipment must be picked up after the morning and evening hunt sessions. Decoys may not be set up the day before or abandoned during the hunt.

All federal and state licenses, stamps, regulations and bag limits apply. Only electric trolling motors and oars are allowed on Whitewater Lake. Whitewater Memorial State Park is located at 1418 S. State Road 101, Liberty, IN 47353.

Hunt dates set for waterfowl rest areas at Patoka
Waterfowl hunting and boat traffic will be allowed at two waterfowl resting areas at Patoka Reservoir for 39 days between late October and late January. The Eastern Waterfowl Resting Area (upstream of Wall’s boat ramp) and Allen Creek (the west finger of the Little Patoka area) will be open one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on the following dates:

•Oct. 27-28 (youth waterfowl hunting weekend)
•Nov. 3-4 (for ducks and geese)
•Nov. 5-11 (for geese only)
•Nov. 24, 26, 28 and 30 (for ducks and geese)
•Dec. 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 26, 29 and 30 (for ducks and geese)
•Jan. 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 16 and 19, 2013 (for ducks and geese)
•Jan. 22, 24 and 27 (for geese only)

Sycamore Creek Waterfowl Resting Area is closed to waterfowl hunting at all times and to boat traffic from Nov. 1-Jan. 31.
Patoka is in Indiana’s South Zone for waterfowl hunting. Duck season dates for the South Zone are Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 24-Jan. 20. Goose season dates are Nov. 3-11 and Nov. 24-Jan. 27. The statewide youth waterfowl hunting weekend is Oct. 27-28.

All state and federal waterfowl hunting regulations apply, including the mandatory use of nontoxic shot. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.  Hunters are required to use the self-service hunter check stations daily.

Changes in Indiana rainbow trout stockings

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is changing the way it stocks rainbow trout in some southern Indiana lakes. The changes are to better distribute the fish so more people can have the chance to fish for trout.

Trout stocking will be eliminated at Pine Lake in Clark State Forest so stocking can take place at Johnson Lake in Madison’s Johnson Park. Johnson Lake will be stocked with 300 trout while the DNR will continue to stock Oak Lake, also in Clark State Forest, with 405 trout.

Trout stocking will also be eliminated at Bethel Pit in Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in Pike County, so the stocking can take place at Garvin Park Lake in Evansville’s Garvin Park. Garvin Park Lake will be stocked with 550 trout. Trout are normally stocked during the third week in October.

The rainbow trout daily bag limit is five, and the minimum size limit is 7 inches.

Two Muscatatuck land parcels purchased

The DNR announced acquisition of two properties in Jackson County as part of the agency’s Healthy Rivers INitiative (HRI). One parcel is approximately 135.5 acres and the other 44.5. Both include forested wetlands characterized by bottomland hardwood trees, providing habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl.

The acquisitions are the most recent achievements for HRI, which Gov. Mitch Daniels launched in 2010 to secure permanent conservation protection for nearly 70,000 acres along the Muscatatuck River and the Wabash River/Sugar Creek corridors.
The DNR has acquired approximately 2,700 acres in the Muscatatuck project area since HRI began. Combined with properties already owned by the state and with private acres enrolled in the federal Wetlands Reserve Program, nearly 7,600 acres in the Muscatatuck project area have been protected from future development.

HRI is a partnership of resource agencies and organizations working with landowners to provide a model balancing forest, farmland and natural resources conservation. It connects separated parcels of public land to benefit wildlife; protects important wildlife habitat and rest areas for migratory birds; opens lands to public recreational activities; establishes areas for nature tourism; and provides clean water and protection from flooding to downstream landowners.
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy of Indiana, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are HRI project partners. For more information, see www.healthyrivers.IN.gov
10/26/2012