TERRE HAUTE —
Get that boat out and let’s go fish’n! We may make some money while having fun!
The Indiana DNR is tagging 500 legal-sized black bass on the three rivers in central and northern Indiana as part of a new research project. “Black Bass” includes largemouth, small-mouth and spotted bass.
Anglers who catch a tagged bass can earn $25 by reporting their catches and returning tags to DNR researchers.
DNR biologists are tagging black bass in the West Fork River in Madison, Hamilton and Marion counties, the Eel River in Wabash, Miami and Cass counties, and St. Joseph River in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties during late summer and fall.
Bass will be tagged with a jaw tag stamped with a DNR phone number and serial number.
When an angler catches a fish, they will need to remove the tag and then they can either release or harvest the fish. Tags must be returned to the DNR to receive a reward, but tagged bass do not have to be kept to receive a reward.
To report tagged catches, anglers must call the phone number listed on the tag (812-287-8300) and provide the following info:
• Tag number.
• Whether the fish was kept or released.
• Date of catch.
• Total length of fish.
• Approximate location of catch.
The research project will help biologists learn more about angler catch rates and fish movement in these rivers.
The project is a partnership of the DNR and various other conservation organizations, including the Indiana Wildlife Federation, Reel Women-Reel men of Indianapolis, Indy Flycasters, St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fisher’s, Indiana Smallmouth Alliance and Manchester College, each of which is providing administrative and financial assistance.
For more info, contact Clark Kolaks at 812-287-8300 or sclark-kolaks@dnr.IN.gov.
Approximately 700 people drown in the United States each year from recreational boating accidents. Most, if not all, drowning can be prevented by wearing a life jacket, said Indiana Conservation Officer Lt. Bill Browne. If we can keep peoples head above water we can prevent drowning. Wearing a life jacket is the only prevention measure that is foolproof.
Conservation officers also are urging people to boat sober and plan for a designated boat driver if alcohol will be on board. Conservation officers arrested 337 people in 2012 for operating a motorboat while intoxicated.
Since O.D.W. (Operation Dry Water) launched in 2009, the percentage of boating fatalities in the United States in which alcohol is listed as a contributing factor has decreased from 19 percent to 17 percent. Despite the decrease, boating while intoxicated (BWI) accounts for a disproportionate number of on-the-water deaths. In 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in just 8 percent of boating accidents overall but figured in 17 percent of boating fatalities.
In Indiana, the blood-alcohol limit for boat operators is the same as for vehicle drivers, 0.08. However studies show that boat operators became impaired by alcohol sooner than people on land because of the motion of the boat, the glare and heat of the sun and dehydration from sweating.
Kenny Bayless can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.