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Views and opinions: Two hunters injured, when mistaken for turkey target

Indiana conservation officers are investigating a hunting accident that left two Gosport men with gunshot injuries. Eric Strunk, 43, and David Dayhuff, 48, were turkey-hunting on private property in northwestern Monroe County. Another hunter was walking along the field line, saw and heard what he thought to be a turkey and shot the two men.

 

Neither man’s injuries are life-threatening. They were struck with shot from a 12-gauge shotgun. The incident occurred April 29 at approximately 6:40 a.m. The investigation is still ongoing.

Strunk and Dayhuff were transported to Indiana University Hospital Bloomington. Conservation officers were assisted by the Monroe County Sheriff Department and EMS.

Keep the bird feeders full

The warm and gentle temperatures of spring may have a tendency to make us forget about our feathered friends. Even though the weather is balmy, forage for birds is still tight.

Most of the wild weed seeds are gone, and there isn’t much of an insect population yet. The combination of low food supplies along with the rigors of breeding and nesting can really stress birds getting ready to raise young.

In a word, keep the bird feeder full. Birds desperately need protein from the black sunflower seeds, and many of the woodpeckers still need suet.

You might want to clean up your hummingbird feeder. Even with the late start to spring, the little buzz bombs started showing up during the last week or so of April. Remember, it’s 4 parts water and 1 part sugar when mixing up the juice for the feeders; no artificial sweeteners. Use just sugar and water.

Do not use honey, molasses or brown sugar, as they are not healthy alternatives. Honey tends to ferment quickly, which can lead to the growth of mold. Red food coloring, while probably not harmful, does little to attract birds and is not necessary, since most commercial hummingbird feeders are made of red plastic.

Sea lamprey control for Salt Creek

When you think of Indiana waters, you don’t immediately associate our rivers and streams with anything as destructive as sea lampreys. But we have them, and they are deadly on Lake Michigan sport fish. Keeping them under control is an ongoing battle.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) will apply lampricides to the Salt Creek system in Porter County to attempt to eliminate invasive sea lamprey larvae burrowed in the stream bottom. In accordance with state permits, treatments will take place between May 1-10, based on weather and stream conditions. They will be completed within three days.

According to the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert, sea lamprey larvae live in certain Great Lakes tributaries, transform to parasitic adults and migrate to Lake Michigan and kill fish.

“Failure to eliminate the larvae in streams would result in significant mortality to many Great Lakes fish species,” he said. “An adult sea lamprey can consume 40 pounds of fish during its parasitic stage in Lake Michigan.”

Infested tributaries must be treated every 3-5 years with lampricides to control sea lamprey populations. Lampricides are selectively toxic to sea lampreys, but a few fish, insects and broadleaf plants may also be sensitive. Salt Creek was first treated in 2015 and has not been treated since.

The sea lamprey program is contracted through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the USFWS and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Commission initiated chemical control of sea lampreys in 1958. The program helps protect the Great Lakes sport and commercial fisheries, which generate $7 billion a year in economic activity.

Learn about foraging at Salamonie Lake

Learn about foraging for wild plants and mushrooms at Salamonie Interpretive Center on May 19. The event runs from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and begins with a slide program. Then participants can taste special dishes made from wild plants.

Finally, program leaders Lori Matthews and Simon Brainerd will lead a foraging hike with opportunities to ask questions. Cost for the event is $5 per person. Advance registration is requested by calling 260-468-2127.

Salamonie Interpretive Center is located at Salamonie Lake at 3691 New Holland Road, Andrews, IN 46702.

Dove Hollow Marsh renovation

Anglers at Dove Hollow Marsh in Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area are allowed to harvest more fish before the marsh is drained this spring for repairs.

The DNR has removed the largemouth bass size limit and doubled the daily bag limit for all species at the marsh, which is in Daviess County. The temporary rule change will be in effect until Dec. 15.

The DNR is replacing the drain-control structure and the boat ramp at the marsh. The project will require draining the water, starting this spring. The reason the DNR is relaxing fishing regulations at the marsh is so fewer fish are wasted when the body of water is drained.

The DNR will restock Dove Hollow Marsh after repairs are finished.

 

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 jackspaulding@hughes.net or by writing to him in care of this publication.

5/10/2018