Saturday, May 13, 2006

We're Goin' Fishin' !!

Yellowwood Lake Fishing Derby

The 2nd Hand Lions will be heading out for our 1st Outdoor Activity of the year, June 25th. We're headed to Brown County, Indiana to the beautiful and uniqe Yellowwood Forest to fish the special waters of the Yellowwood Lake.

There we will gather at the banks of Yellowwood Lake to enjoy the piscatorial offerings on what we pray will be a beautiful and peaceful day. For those who want, boat rental will be available - on a first-come-first-serve basis. The boats are ALL row boats. NO MOTORS - except Electric Motors - are allowed on the lake. {See Special Note Below}.

We will be having a Fishing Derby with prizes awarded for the following:

  • Most fish caught
  • Heaviest total catch
  • Biggest fish caught in two different categories
      • Bass
      • Pan Fish

  • We will have two age categories
    • 17/under
    • 18/over

Some pointers on Fishing the Yellowwood Lake

( More information on this is the coming days )

If you are bringing your own NON-MOTORIZED BOAT there is a NEW Indiana regulation of which you need to be aware. As of January 1, 2006, ALL BOATS - Motorized and Non-motorized watercraft - MUST have a
BOAT LAUNCH PERMIT to be used or docked on an Indiana State Park waterway.

The permits are: $20/Motorized craft ( including Personal Watercraft [ie, jetski] ) and $5/Non-motorized craft (canoes, kayak, pontoon, drift, float-tube, etc.) The basic rule is this .. if you use a DEVICE to float - other than PFD (lifejacket, which is MANDATORY ALSO! ) - on the waters in an Indiana State Park, you MUST HAVE the permit.

The BOAT LAUNCH PERMIT can be obtained at the STATE PARK entry where you will need it - but the best way to get the permit is ONLINE. But unlike the hunting and fishing licenses that can be purchased and printed from your own computer, the BOAT LAUNCH PERMIT will be MAILED to you. So be sure to GET YOUR PERMIT IN ADVANCE of your needed use.

Yellowwood State Forest is named for the unique yellowwood tree. [1] Though not rare - for it's common to southern forests - Yellowwood State Forest is the most northern existance of this tree. About 200 acres of the current forest make up the remaining most-northern contingent of the yellowwood. Much of the Yellowwood State Forest is a standing mature growth of northern hardwood trees [oaks, maple, walnut and beech] - but their existance is imperiled. The Yellowwood Forest has been under the influence of heavy Forest harvesting (timbering) for a number of years and the results are not looking the same to all interested parties.

There is a growing concern for the health of the lake and the surrounding forest, due to the impact of the foresting practices now ongoing. The lake has shown signs of 'early aging' (eutrophication) from the increase run-off of the soils due to harvesting of the timber of steep inclined hills. The soil is running down the hills and into the lake (erosion), filling it up. In time this kills the lake and all the life in it. A recent independant study has shown that sedimentation (soils ending up in the lake from run-off) has increased over 30% in just the past 10 years. This is rapid-aging for a lake.

The process of sedimentation changes, not only the physical characteristics of the lake, but what can live in it, too. Lake need nutrients to sustain a wide range of life in them in order to keep a balanced food chain. But, too much nutrient in the water will cause rapid growth of algae and plantlife, depleting the available dissolved oxygen necessary to sustain the organisms living there.

Sedimentation is also damaging to the size, formation and safety of the lake. As the lake fills, there available water to boat-on or fish-in become less-and-less. With a man-made body of water, such as Yellowwood, there is a dam involved in impounding the water. If enough sediment collects near the dam (the natural end-point for sediment in a body of water), the increased pressure could cause the dam to fail. Such failures have resulted in catastrophic damage downstream of the lake water ... and sediment.

Is harvesting the timber from the Yellowwood State Forest wrong or a bad thing? No, not at all. Timber harvesting is actually a useful tool in maintaining the overall health of a hardwood forest such as Yellowwood. However, such a harvesting regime must be undertaken with special care to the needs of the land itself and the surrounding watershed of that land. This is the point of contention in the current discussions on the harvesting of the timber at Yellowwood. The State and the Foresters involved believe they are working in accordance to the 'better principles' of forestry practice. However, the people who are living on the land surrounding Yellowwood and those who utilize the resource for recreational purposes, believe the practices being used are not sustainable in the best interest of the long-term life of the forest or the lakes and streams within.

Second Hand Lions is about understanding our rolls as men in the Game of Life, being guided by the Way of God. God's Way teaches us that He is Owner of the land and all that is in it: including us. And that humans were given use of the land and the animals and plants that exist on earth. But we were also given a stewardship commission. Our origin-parents, Adam and Eve, were told by God, to 'dress and keep' the land. This is the basic guideline of stewardship. Since we do not own the land, we are given permission to use it. We are also expected to be respectful of the property owner in how we use the land and its adjoining resources. We are commanded to Honor God within the very framework of His Ten Commandments. There can be no greater honor, or show of respect, than to treat with great care the property of another entity.

For us to Honor God, thorugh the use of the land and its resources, we must become Good Stewards of both the land, the resource and ourselves. This is the base building block of the character God wishes for His Children to have: His Character. Just like building muscles, we build that Godly Character in everything we do: day-in and day-out. How we treat the land we live upon and the resources God created to exist upon, in and over it, shows both our respect for God and the level of Godly-character we are building in our lifetime.

The measure of a man is not in what he can accomplish and aquire, but in the maturity of his understanding and actions toward the building of his own Godly Character and the influence he has upon others in their own character development as well.

Let's take this time of fun, relaxation, memory-building and high-spirited enjoyment, to build a deeper appreciation, respect and honorable relationship with each other and with our God, the Great Creator of all that is and all that will become. After all - that is our goal... is it not?

Uncle Garth