The Indiana Natural
Resources Commission (NRC) preliminarily adopted a fisheries rules amendment
package at its meeting this week in Indianapolis.
changes are not yet final and will be subject to a public comment period
conducted by the NRC’s Division of Hearings before final adoption by the
Among the proposed
amendments are the following:
* Increasing the
statewide minimum size limit to 24 inches for Northern pike and changing the
statewide daily bag limit of three Northern pike to include no more than one
per day longer than 30 inches. Hamilton Lake (Steuben County) would be the
only exception to the statewide rule with a daily bag limit of six Northern
pike per day with no minimum size limit, and no more than one Northern pike
per day longer than 30 inches.
* Increasing the
daily bag limit for lake trout taken in Lake Michigan and its tributaries to
three per day instead of two.
* Prohibiting the
use of a cast net, seine, or any other device to collect bait extending from
a dam downstream 500 yards, including the Ohio River. The rule’s purpose is
to help prevent the spread of Asian carp into other aquatic systems with the
misidentification of target bait species, because some bait fish species
look similar to Asian carp.
* Requiring the
tagging of setlines and trotlines that are left unattended in the Ohio
River. This change would make the rule consistent with requirements for
setlines and trotlines set on inland waters.
The NRC also
approved two new nature preserves at its meeting, increasing to 279 the
number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act.
The two new nature
preserves: Section Nine Seep Springs and Pleasant Grove, both in Owen County
and both are owned and operated by the DNR Division of Forestry.
Section Nine Seep
Springs is a 46.77-acre property in Jennings Township which features a
combination of seep spring, mesic-upland forest, and stream-natural
community types. Section Nine Seep Springs also provides habitat for a
number of state-ranked flora species, including cinnamon fern, marsh
marigold, brome hummock sedge and tree clubmoss.
Pleasant Grove is a
57.7-acres property in Morgan Township which features a mosaic of mesic
upland forest, sandstone cliff, seep spring, and stream-natural community
types. Pleasant Grove provides habitat for a number of state-ranked flora
species, including leek sedge, halberd-leaved tear-thumb, twisted sedge,
touch-me-not, seersucker sedge, shining clubmoss, and intermediate wood
The NRC is an
autonomous board which addresses topics pertaining to the Indiana Department
of Natural Resources. NRC members include the DNR director, heads of three
other state agencies (Environmental Management, Tourism Development, and
Transportation), six citizens appointed by the governor on a bipartisan
basis, the chair of the NRC’s advisory council, and the president of the
Indiana Academy of Science.