Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State Natural Resources Commission proposes changes to fisheries rules

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The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) preliminarily adopted a fisheries rules amendment package at its meeting this week in Indianapolis.

The proposed 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 NRC.

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 fern.

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.

 

Posted 5/17/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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