Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fishing Friday at the Iowa State Fair!


Thanks to our wonderful volunteers for helping make our Fishing Friday a great success. 
  • SE Warren Schools
  • Des Moines Public Schools
  • Forest Avenue Outreach
  • West Harrison Schools


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Proposed Fishing Regulations Topic of Four Public Meetings

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has scheduled four public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the state fishing regulations for 2015.
Hearings are scheduled for August 28, 7 p.m., at the DNR Wildlife Stations on Balsam Avenue, Ventura; Sept. 2, 6:30 p.m., at the Lewis and Clark State Park Visitor Center, 21914 Park Loop, Onawa; Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m., at the Dickinson County Nature Center, 2279 170th Street, Okoboji; and Sept. 4, 3 p.m., in the fourth floor conference room, Wallace State Office Bldg., 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines.
The DNR is proposing a series of rule changes to make the regulations easier to understand, to protect lake improvements, remove duplicate language in the Iowa code and to enhance fishing opportunities.
Proposals include aligning the muskie season on Iowa’s border lakes with Minnesota  with the Iowa Great Lakes’ season; modifying the fishing regulations on the Iowa-Minnesota border lakes to be more consistent with that of the Iowa Great Lakes; allowing the DNR to manage walleye populations in the same manner as it does bass by posting length limit signs at lakes, and removing Black Hawk Lake from the list of lakes that have additional restrictions for walleye fishing and replace the three walleye daily bag limit with a daily bag limit of five.
Other proposals include prohibiting snagging, bow and arrow, and spear fishing at certain Clear Lake and Lost Island Lake locations to protect the significant investment in lake improvements and for public safety at the Lower Gar Lake Outlet; removing hand fishing as a legal means of take for all rough fish; establishing a paddlefish season on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers; and removing duplicate trotline or throw line language in the Iowa Administrative code.
At the hearing, persons will be asked to give their names and address for the record and to confine their remarks to the content of the proposed amendments. Any persons who intend to attend the hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the DNR and request specific accommodations.
Any person may submit written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendment through Sept. 4, 2014. Written materials should be addressed to Martin Konrad, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034, by fax at 515-281-8895 or by email to martin.konrad@dnr.iowa.gov.

Persons who have questions may contact Martin Konrad at 515-281-6976.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fishing Friday at the Iowa State Fair!
When: August 8, 2014
Time: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Where: Iowa Department of Natural Resources Building Courtyard
at the Iowa State Fair Grounds

Join us for Fishing Friday at the Iowa State Fair! Friday August 8th join the IDNR Aquatic Education Program, IDNR Fisheries biologists and staff, and several Fish Iowa! school groups for a fun-filled fishing Friday!

Activities will include:

  • Fish cleaning and cooking demonstration – try a sample of Iowa fish!
  • Pop can casting – try your hand at pop can casting for accuracy.
  •  Velcro fishing – catch a bluegill, bass, or catfish in our kids “pond”.
  •  Rubber stamp art – create an ecosystem picture using fish and animal stamps featuring animals found in Iowa.
  •  Fish coloring pages – create a masterpiece when you color your favorite fish.
  • Fish printing – Create fish prints on paper.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DNR Building a Popular Stop at the Iowa State Fair
Located at the west end of the State Fair Grand Concourse, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources historic aquarium, pavilion and courtyard is a must-see for thousands of fair-goers each year.
Built in 1921, the wrap-around aquarium is the focal point of the pavilion, filled with Iowa fish of all shapes, sizes and species. Throughout the building, park rangers, conservation officers, environmental specialists, biologists and other staffers are on hand to field visitors’ questions and maybe ask a few too.
Visitors of all ages can test their knowledge of state parks’ trivia or challenge other visitors to a game of environmental Jeopardy. Fair-goers can also test their skills at the new air rifle range, or maybe spot a cougar, bobcat or wolf mount, or full-size replica of an eagle’s nest. Licenses and Iowa Outdoors magazine subscriptions are on sale, too.
On the west side of the pavilion are gates designed and created by sculptor David Williamson and past fair visitors, using metal trash collected from Iowa’s annual river clean-up, Project AWARE.  The gates lead to the DNR’s courtyard, a relaxing oasis complete with a pond of waterfowl and turtles, a prairie, a stream, the world’s largest birdhouse, a water bottle filling station, picnic tables, benches and plenty of shade. 
The mobile education exhibits along the north courtyard fence helps visitors learn how to make simple, everyday changes to help protect and improve the environment.
Three to five presentations are made daily on the courtyard stage including cooking demonstrations and live animal talk. And each Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the Fair will be dedicated to special theme days in the courtyard. For a list of courtyard theme days and daily stage presentations visit www.iowadnr.gov/fair 
The DNR’s pavilion and aquarium are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, throughout the fair.


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Monday, July 28, 2014

Fishing Friday at the Iowa State Fair!
When: August 8, 2014
Time: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Where: Iowa Department of Natural Resources Building Courtyard
at the Iowa State Fair Grounds

Join us for Fishing Friday at the Iowa State Fair! Friday August 8th join the IDNR Aquatic Education Program, IDNR Fisheries biologists and staff, and several Fish Iowa! school groups for a fun-filled fishing Friday!

Activities will include:
·         Fish cleaning and cooking demonstration – try a sample of Iowa fish!
·         Pop can casting – try your hand at pop can casting for accuracy.
·         Velcro fishing – catch a bluegill, bass, or catfish in our kids “pond”.
·         Rubber stamp art – create an ecosystem picture using fish and animal stamps featuring animals found in Iowa.
·         Fish coloring pages – create a masterpiece when you color your favorite fish.

·         Fish printing – Create fish prints on paper.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Explore Bowhunting!
You Are Invited
What: Explore Bowhunting Workshop
When: July 28, 2014 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Where: Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge (West Des Moines, IA)
Why: You are an influence to youth!
RSVP: July 24, 2014

The Iowa DNR has partnered with Archery Trade Association to
start a brand new program called Explore Bowhunting. Explore
Bowhunting is an outdoor conservation education program
focusing on interactions with people and wildlife.
The curriculum is designed to teach students to feel comfortable
in the outdoors whether they are interested in bowhunting,
wildlife photography, or interact with nature. After going through
the training you will be able to access loaner equipment filled
with $1800 of outdoor gear.
As an added bonus, this workshop will include lunch and is FREE!

For more Information and to register for
the workshop contact:
Donise Petersen at
Donise.Petersen@dnr.iowa.gov

515-205-8709

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nature Photography for Kids

Create Your Own Fishing Field Guide
Kids love cameras and kids love nature. Combine the two and you have with a wonderful project to fill your summer days.  We are going to create our own fishing field guides using nature photography. The next time you go fishing give children a camera to photograph the trip.

Allow children to be the lead on this project and follow their own interests. Do you have a child who is interested in each fish species? Help them create a fish species field guide. Other ideas are water birds, aquatic plants, aquatic insects, pond or lake biodiversity, or even clouds and weather. Inventory and photograph the subjects you have chosen. Bring a notebook with you and have children record their observations of what they have photographed.

When children are done taking pictures download them to your computer. Go through the photographs with your children and let them decide which photos to include in their field guide.

With your children identify each subject that you are going to include in your backyard field guide. If you do not have field guides they can be checked out from your local library. There are also many on-line field guide resources.  Allow children time to look through field guides to get an idea of what they look like, and what information is included in each. Decide what information you are going to include in your backyard field guide.

Create your field guides by printing pictures and descriptions and creating a journal. An old notebook or photo album will work. You could also create a photobook through a website such as Snapfish and have an actual book created and mailed to you. You now have a field guide for your own backyard!

Want to expand your field guide? Create a nature field guide for your backyard, your favorite camping site, local park, or even the nature on a vacation trip!

Camera Basics
Teach children the basics of operating a digital camera. Start with the basics and expand from there. For younger children keep it simple. Older children who have experience with cameras may be interested in learning more about shutter speeds, and lighting.

There are several kinds of children’s cameras available; however, they generally do not take quality photos. You can get a cheap “adult” camera that will take better photos for the same price. Base your decision on the age of the children and how much “rough and tumble” action the camera will see - kid’s cameras are built to withstand drops, and rougher handling. You can also allow children to use your camera with supervision or purchase disposable cameras for each child.

More Fun Nature Photography Ideas for Kids
Photography scavenger hunts: alphabet, botany, textures, shapes
Themed photography walks: butterflies, beetles, birds, trees, wildflowers
Personal photo book: allow each child to review their pictures and print off or create a personal photobook of their favorites
Nature Journal: Add your nature photos to your nature journal

Books
Castella, K., and B. Boyl. 2006. Discovering Nature's Alphabet. Heyday Books.
Criswell, S. G., et al. 1996. Nature Through Science and Art. McGraw-Hill Companies.
Hass, R. and P. Michael. 2008. River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. Milkweed Editions.
Lepp, G., and K. V. Lepp. 2010. Wildlife Photography: Stories from the Field. Lark Books NC.
Sweet, T. 2010. Fine Art Nature Photography: Advanced Techniques and the Creative Process. Stackpole Books.

Links
11 Simple Tips for Kids: Nature Photography

National Geographic Kids: Photography Tips for Kids

Nature Mom: Kids ‘n Cameras: Five Tips for Introducing Children to Photography