DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans to release trout in seven spots around the state this winter. The program, which is financed by trout fishing fees, places the fish in areas where they couldn’t survive in warmer months. The trout will be released Jan. 10 in Fort Dodge’s Moorland Park and Big Lake West in Council Bluffs.
On Jan. 18, the fish will be released at Blue Pit in Mason City and Bacon Creek in Sioux City. Trout will be released Jan. 25 at Lake Petoka in Bondurant and at Spencer’s Scharnberg Pond. On Feb. 8, fish will be released at Ada Hayden Pond in Ames.
Anglers must have a fishing license and to have paid a trout fee.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has suspended rules limiting the work hour of truck drivers who haul propane. Branstad announce his action Wednesday evening. It’s effective Thursday and will continue through January 2nd.
Branstad signed a proclamation saying the suspension of work rules is necessary because of a shortage of propane. That’s due in part due to a late harvest that caused demand in the fall for the fuel, which is used by farmers to dry crops. Demand for propane is strong throughout the state, leading to some shortages.
Drivers must still abide by standard rules and can’t drive if they’re ill or overly sleepy.
The Loess Hills Alliance will be holding a series of public meetings to discuss the opportunity for a national reserve designation for the Loess Hills landform in western Iowa. If the land is designated as a national reserve, the region would be led by the locally-run Loess Hills Alliance, a 28-member board, and considered an affiliate of the National Park Service (NPS). The designation would provide landowners with access to additional financial assistance resources.
For the past fifteen years, the Loess Hills Alliance, which includes 21 members appointed by the County Boards of Supervisors from each of the 7 Loess Hills counties.has been protecting land in the Loess Hills and offering programs to help landowners with conservation of their land. The organization encourages tourism and residency in the Loess Hills, which supports small local businesses and agribusinesses in the region. The national reserve designation will allow the Loess Hills Alliance to provide increased technical, financial and program assistance to landowners, communities and local businesses.
The designation will also increase tourism and recreational opportunities that offer significant economic benefits. An estimated 1 million visitors travel the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway each year, stopping in the small towns and communities along the way. The Byway winds through prairie, woodland and farmland, offering scenic vistas and linking conservation areas. In partnership with the NPS, the Loess Hills Alliance can ensure that this natural treasure will be preserved for future generations of Iowans.
Meetings will be held in January to provide more information and to gather input from the public. All are invited to attend and join the discussion. More information about the Loess Hills Alliance can be found at www.loesshillsalliance.com.
The meetings will be held from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
Fremont County: January 8th at the “Gathering Place”, 609 Cass Street, in Sidney.
Harrison County: January 20th at the Community Center, 200 Maple Street, in Mondamin.
Mills County: January 16th at the Senior Center, 20 North Vine Street, in Glenwood.
Monona County: January 14th at the Onawa Community Center, 300 10th Street, in Onawa.
Pottawattamie County: January 9th at the Iowa School for the Deaf, LMC Community Room, 3501 Harry Langdon Boulevard, in Council Bluffs.
(For other sites, see the link above)
AMES, Iowa (AP) — A livestock specialist at Iowa State University says falling corn prices are generating some optimism that cattle farmers can again make money. Historically high corn prices during the last several years drove up the cost of feed and many producers cut herd numbers as drought intensified.
Lee Schulz, a livestock specialist and assistant professor of economics, says producers have been in survival mode but are beginning to talk about expansion. There’s interest in building new facilities and growing herds. Feedlots made money on cattle sold in October, breaking a long streak of monthly losses.
He says it will take several years to build the herd with increased calf crops and increasing cattle supplies because of the time it takes for calves to mature.
The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Department may purchase or borrow a Trail cam to try and catch persons who are using 4-wheel off-road machines on the grassy areas at Sunnyside Park and tearing-up those surfaces. Speaking at Monday night’s meeting of the Parks and Rec Board, Director Roger Herring said that while the roads to the park are closed, the park itself is still open to various activities, but there are limitations.
He said there is no 4-wheeling on the grassy areas, but someone is doing that. It’s happening in the same spot but Herring says they don’t know right now what time of day the damage is occurring. By installing a trail cam in an undisclosed location nearby, it’s hoped they can catch those persons in the act and take legal action against them.
Herring says a “decent quality” trail camera would cost about $150 and be used anywhere there is a problem in the park system with vandalism, since it is portable. Some of the units have a “Black flash,” which is useful at night and doesn’t alert the perpetrator to the fact their picture is being taken. Those types of cameras usually cost about $200 more. Herring said also the Cass County Sheriff’s Office has offered the temporary use of its high tech trail cam, if necessary.
The Parks and Rec Board Monday tabled a decision on finalizing a Tobacco Free Ordinance for Sunnyside Park that they can forward to the City Council for its review and approval, because there was still some language that needed to be cleaned-up, and appeared to have been contradictory. The Board will reconvene prior to the January 22nd meeting of the City Council, when the Ordinance is set to be on the agenda, to make sure the final draft has gone through the legal approval process with the City Attorney.
And, Parks Director Roger Herring reported a successful Gizzard Shad kill occurred at the Schildberg Recreation Area’s Lake number One on Dec. 3rd. The DNR applied Rotenone to try and control the invasive fish species and help the more desirable species survive. Herring said the timing of the chemical application was “perfect,” because the weather was cooperating. He said within 24-hours there was a good fish kill of the gizzard shad and a few days later the lake iced-over, which means the dead fish will sink to the bottom and become food for other species and help keep the lake alive throughout the winter.
There was some “collateral” damage to other species of fish (Including the killing of game fish such as some of the small bluegill, one crappie, and one catfish), but Herring said that was to be expected. None of the bass in the lake were killed, though. He said because the fish kill was successful, it will be exciting to see how the desirable game fish population explodes over the next two- to-three years at Lake number One.
Members of the public, private entities or corporations who are still looking for areas they can make worthy tax deductions before the end of the year, may want to consider donating new or used equipment to the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department. Director Roger Herring presented the Parks and Rec Board Monday night, with a “Holiday Wish List” of items his department could use.
He says items don’t need to be new. The wish list includes: A sliding compound mitre saw; small-to medium sized skid loader; air compressor and pneumatic tools; a multi-drawer shop tool chest; router; welder; gas-powered auger; hammer drill; refrigerator; micro-wave oven; garden roto-tiller; 3-point tractor sprayer, and a transfer pump.
He said those are things they’d love to have, but are not currently in the budget. If you are able to donate any of those items and receive a receipt for their value to be used as a tax deduction, contact the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department at 712-243-5466.
The second shotgun deer season is underway and the Iowa D-N-R’s testing effort for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is also ongoing. D-N-R wildlife biologist, Willie Suchy, says the disease monitoring involves taking tissue samples. “So, if our hunters encounter some D-N-R people who are trying to collect samples, we encourage you to cooperate. We are trying to do a good job of surveillance,” Suchy says. The D-N-R has tested some 47-thousand deer since 2002.
“So far we haven’t detected any C-W-D in wild animals,” Suchy says. The only cases of C-W-D discovered in Iowa have been in captive deer in Wapello, Davis, Pottawattamie and Cerro Gordo counties. Suchy says they are keeping an eye on the deer in that area. Suchy says all the tests in those areas so far have been negative. The other testing effort concentrates on portions of northeast Iowa near Wisconsin and Illinois. C-W-D has been found in Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Iowa D-N-R’s website provides information about C-W-D and other information on infectious disease at: www.iowadnr.gov
Iowa’s first shotgun deer season closed Wednesday and officials with the Department of Natural Resources say the preliminary numbers indicate that license sales and harvest are both down from previous years. Sales of licenses declined 7 percent from 2012 and the reported harvest is 18 percent lower. The decrease reflects decreased deer numbers across the state as well as fewer licenses being issued, continuing the downward trend in harvest since its peak in 2006. The bitterly cold weather was likely a factor as well.
Iowa’s second shotgun season begins Saturday. Historically a lower kill during the first season often results in more deer being taken during the second. Hunters get an additional weekend of hunting during the second season and the weather forecast looks more favorable. Party hunting is a common practice during the shotgun season and hunters are reminded to be careful when hunting in a group.
Always make sure that you are shooting in a safe direction before pulling the trigger. Hunters during the second season typically take a higher percentage of does than first season hunters do. However, if hunters are seeing fewer deer where they hunt they may want to refrain from harvesting extra does. Hunters should check with landowners to see if deer numbers are at an acceptable level and tailor their harvest accordingly.
To avoid waiting in line hunters should consider buying a license today. Current sales for the second season are nearly 30,000 below last year but a large proportion of hunters wait until the last minute to buy a license. About 25,000 licenses will be purchased between Thursday and Saturday morning. Hunters are reminded to report their harvest within 24 hours of recovering their deer. The DNR says that information is an important part of the data needed to manage Iowa’s deer herd.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s governor and the state’s entire congressional delegation are asking the Obama administration to hold a hearing in Iowa to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce ethanol production in 2014. Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of ethanol, a fuel additive primarily made from corn that produces lower carbon emissions than gasoline. The EPA in November proposed cutting production to 2012 levels, prompting outcry by political leaders from both parties who claimed such a move would devastate Iowa’s economy.
The EPA stated in its November report that the additive had become less necessary in light of fuel-efficient engines and lower fuel demand. An Iowa State University economist says the economic impact elected officials claim is overstated. The EPA is taking public comment for 60 days on its recommendation.