The Herald Bulletin

June 5, 2013

Rick Bramwell: One restocking project completed


The Herald Bulletin

---- — One of my favorite places to fish is a local pit. Usually, I go for bass, but a late morning start had me headed there with Alen Muey bluegill jigs tied on.The first order of business was to rearrange the deck chairs. Wind had dislodged a large dead tree, sitting on the edge of a flat, and moved it to the shallow end. I tied one end of a rope to one of the limbs and the other to my two-man bass boat. The 26lb thrust trolling motor would not move the large tree.I gave the line some slack and juiced the motor. On my third try, the tree began to move. Using a large chunk of cement, I anchored the tree. This looked like the perfect big bass hotel.The fellow who owns the pit allows some friends to fish. Most do their angling from the dock where the owner feeds bread to the fish. There needs to be just a little brush sunk there to attract and hold fish. My next trip will take care of that need.The milt squirted out of the male bluegills as I squeezed them to free the hook. All sizes went into my fish basket. I caught 25-30 gills and one crappie. Often, I would see a bluegill take a surface bug. I would cast in the swirl and be rewarded. These fish would never meet the skillet.On my way home, I stopped by a friend's house to pick some strawberries. He has an irrigation pond full of snails and tadpoles, but no fish. When the pre-teen boy and girl saw those fish, they were excited that I wanted to put them in their pond.I need a few redear to take advantage of all those snails. In the south, they call the redear sunfish, shell crackers; thus, because the redear has a row of teeth in the back of their jaw. They crack the shell of the snail, expel the fragments, and swallow the snail.According to the DNR, wildlife biologists are partnering with Ball State University biologists to determine how white-tailed deer fawns move in urban areas compared to rural areas. The study kicked off this spring with more than 30 fawns being collared with lightweight radio transmitters to track their movement. The project will last two years and the data collected will be used to help with statewide management of white-tailed deer. The data will also provide insight into the differences in the lives of urban and rural fawns.

As deer populations increase in urban areas such as Bloomington, more deer and human conflicts arise, including deer-vehicle accidents and deer eating landscaping and gardens. This study will research the types of urban locations deer frequent or may even prefer. Researchers are also collecting deer hair and saliva to determine stress levels of the fawns in both areas.The project will continue next spring, with additional fawns being tracked.