Spaulding Outdoors by Jack Spaulding
Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists are tagging walleye on Lake Monroe to study fishing mortality for the species. During a couple of recent weeks, biologists have used electro-fishing to catch walleye for tagging.
“So far we have tagged 78 walleye, with an overall goal of tagging at least 200 over the next couple of weeks,” said Sandy Clark-Kolaks last week, Indiana DNR southern region fisheries research biologist.
The majority of the fish caught were male fish and ranged in length from 19-27 inches. Walleye will be tagged with either a single or double plastic spaghetti tag near the dorsal fin.
Anglers who catch a tagged walleye should remove the tag with a knife or scissors and return the tag to the DNR. The study will help biologists understand how many walleye anglers harvest from Monroe Lake and when.
“Information from studies from like these help us with modeling of different length-limit scenarios,” Clark-Kolaks said.
Tags may be returned through tag return envelopes available at boat ramps, boat ramp gate houses, the Paynetown DNR office or the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife field office in Bloomington. On the envelopes are questions about name and address, the tag number and whether you harvested the fish. Tag envelopes may be returned to any location where they were obtained.
Please only include the tag from one fish per envelope. Tags may be mailed to the DNR Bloomington Field Office, 5596 E. State Road 46, Bloomington, IN 47401, with the above information included.
Sparrow identification workshop
Maybe I should do some work on my schedule and take in the Sparrow Identification Workshop being held at Lake Monroe.
I’m like most novice birders, and find identifying sparrows can be a real challenge.
I agonized over my bird books trying to identify a newcomer to the feeder last winter, and finally settled on the bird being a White Crowned Sparrow.
For birders needing “professional help,” Lake Monroe is offering a sparrow ID workshop at its Stillwater-Northfork Wildlife Area on May 3.
Even practiced birders may have trouble with this kind of identification because there are many sparrow species with similar markings.
The 90-minute workshop will start at 8 a.m. and will be led by local birder Wendy Anderson, who worked on a field project involving sparrow identification. Part of the workshop will be outdoors.
The workshop is limited to 12 people, ages 14 and older. Advance registration is required by April 28 online at www.bit.ly/sparrow2015
The program fee is $5 per person. For more information, contact Jill Vance, Lake Monroe interpretive naturalist, at jvance@dnr.IN.gov or 812-837-9967.
The Stillwater-Northfork Wildlife Area on Lake Monroe is located at the southern end of McGowan Road, east of Bloomington, off State Road 46.
Walnut twig beetle in Indiana
The walnut twig beetle (WTB), or Pityophthorus juglandis, the insect involved in Thousand Cankers Disease of black walnut (TCD), has been detected in Indiana for the first time at a Franklin County sawmill.
The beetle was detected in a trap placed at the sawmill for a 2014 statewide survey for WTB.
Additional WTBs were found during an inspection of walnut logs and lumber at the sawmill.
TCD is caused by the fungus Geosmithia morbid, transmitted by the WTB.
The beetles bore into walnut branches, feeding on the tree’s tissues and depositing the fungus, which creates a canker, or dead area, under the bark.
Multiple feedings cause the formation of thousands of cankers under the bark and destroy the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Gradually, the tree dies.
Tests for the fungus from the collected beetles and walnut samples in Franklin County are ongoing. So far, the fungus has not been detected.
Surveys at the sawmill have not detected any infested walnut trees. Another survey is planned for this summer in the area surrounding the sawmill.
State Entomologist Phil Marshall has ordered the sawmill quarantined. The sawmill is working with the DNR and is destroying walnut material on the property to prevent movement of TCD from the property.
In 2014, TCD was discovered in a black walnut plantation in Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County. The plantation has also been quarantined. Franklin County is not under quarantine because TCD has not been detected in a walnut tree in the county.
Movement of walnut logs, lumber and other walnut material within Indiana is not restricted.
Movement into and out of Indiana is restricted, however. Contact the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology for assistance to move walnut.
Of the other 100-plus survey locations in 2014, no WTB was detected. The other states with TCD are Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and eight western states. More information on TCD can be found online at www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/6249.htm
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 may contact Jack Spaulding by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to him in care of this publication.