Rainfall comes just in time for waterfowl season
By Dale Bowman Post-Tribune correspondent October 18, 2012 11:28PM
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:12AM
Water is the tricky part as waterfowl seasons open Saturday. But at least some rain arrived over the weekend and again Wednesday night.
“The main units (at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area) look good, the rain helped,’’ property manager Ken Bisacchi said. “A couple of the bayous that were doubtful we will probably use now.’’
Blinds are reserved for the opening weekend, but most FWAs in the area have some standby hunting.
Last weekend LaSalle had a “pretty good day’’ for the youth hunt with about 80 ducks — mostly wood ducks, some blue-winged and green-winged teal, and a few mallards — bagged.
Bisacchi said they should have 14 blinds on Saturday, 16 on Sunday. There is a 4 a.m. draw for 20 individuals on the north side.
At Willow Slough FWA, the lake remains down a good foot. They will not be hunting the flooded corn. They will be hunting about 22 blinds on the lake and Pogue Marsh. The site is holding about 1,500-2,000 ducks, primarily teal and wood ducks. The youth hunt produced 60 ducks.
Staff at Kingsbury FWA put it simply, “We do not have water.’’ Their 12 hunting spots will be down to eight for the regular season. The youth hunt only produced nine ducks.
Jasper-Pulaski FWA will hunt all its blinds, but only four or five have any kind of water.
William Powers State Recreation Area on the Illinois side of Wolf Lake opens Saturday. There is no hunting on Mondays and Tuesday. For this weekend, the draw for unclaimed blinds is at 6:41 a.m.
The changes of note in Indiana regulation are increases in daily bags for Canada geese (to three) and white-fronted geese (to two).
The daily bag for ducks is six, including no more than four mallards (of which no more than two can be hens), four scaup, three wood ducks, two pintails, two redheads, one canvasback, one black duck, and one mottled duck. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers, separate from ducks, is five (no more than two can be hooded mergansers).
Lake Michigan and tribs: “Every time we get that rain, fish get active in the creek,’’ said Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station. “Burns Ditch is full of fish. A fresh batch, mainly kings and some coho, pushed through Salt Creek on Wednesday. It is has been lively.’’ Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said the Camp 133 Deep river Dam near Liverpool Road is holding good numbers. Sleziak said No. 3 or No. 4 spinners or skein is best. Hammond Marina has a big load of kings and there’s quite a few at East Chicago Marina. ... On Trail Creek, Breidert said they passed more than 300 fish earlier this week in a 24-hour trap set. He said some fresh coho and steelhead are starting to show. ... Breidert said lake trout are moving closer to the Port of Indiana reef, which normally has a couple weeks of good laker fishing in November.
Inland fishing: Sleziak said crappie turned on in Lake George, from shore and boat, and at Deep River, on minnows and bobbers. Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond reported better walleye fishing in Wolf Lake, including a 26-incher in the last week.
Clubbing: The Salmon Unlimited of Indiana meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at East Chicago Marina.
Crane cruise: The Medaryville Lions Club holds its annual Crane Cruise (crane-cruise.com) on Oct. 27 with bike rides of 12-50 miles around Jasper-Pulaski. I highly recommend it. Sandhill cranes started arriving several weeks ago. For more, contact Mick Capouch at (219) 843-4491 or firstname.lastname@example.org.