Second Juvenile Bald Eagle Fatally Shot In Western Indiana

Mar 30, 2021

SHELBURN, Ind. (AP) — Indiana conservation officers are investigating the second shooting death of a juvenile bald eagle in western Indiana this year. Officers located the second dead eagle in a rural area of northern Sullivan County about 8 miles west of the town of Shelburn.

Photo provided by the Indiana DNR


MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — A coroner says two men who died after their boat capsized while they were fishing on a small northern Indiana lake have been identified as Michigan City residents. LaPorte County Coroner Lynn Swanson said Monday that 48-year-old Alonso Portwood, and Robert Spikes, who was believed to be 58, died Sunday after their boat capsized. The cause of deaths has not yet been determined. Indiana Conservation Officer Tyler Brock says authorities recovered the men's bodies Sunday afternoon shortly after receiving a call about two people who had fallen into small, private lake while fishing south of Michigan City.

(Courtesy of Indiana DNR)

Last month, Indiana declared three animals endangered species in the state — including a native coldwater fish called the cisco. Because runoff pollution and algal blooms have polluted its habitat, the fish’s numbers have been going down for decades.

Michigan DNR Probes Fatal Shootings Of Two Trumpeter Swans

Dec 13, 2020
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

NEW HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — State conservation officers are investigating the deaths of two trumpeter swans found fatally shot at a state park in southeastern Michigan. Conservation officers found the carcasses of an adult trumpeter swan and a young trumpeter swan at Wetzel State Park in Macomb County. Officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Friday the birds, which are a threatened species in Michigan and illegal to hunt, had multiple gunshot wounds.

Photo provided by the Indiana DNR

The Indiana DNR is reporting that a Knox woman died when the off-road vehicle she was riding on crashed on Sunday. The driver survived, but is injured. The DNR says alcohol may have been a factor in the crash. 


Photo provided by the Michigan DNR

Some Michigan firefighters are in the Western U.S. right now helping battle massive wildfires that have taken over parts of the state. 

Photo provided by Indiana DNR

The body of a 16-year-old girl was recovered from Lake Michigan near the Michigan City lighthouse pier Monday afternoon.

Meantime a search is underway for an Illinois man who fell off a boat into Lake Michigan Sunday in the Hammond area.

(Screenshot Amazon Plants)

Online plant sellers could make it harder for Indiana to enforce its new invasive plants rule. Well-known companies allow Hoosiers to purchase plants from all over the world without knowing they’re invasive. 

Man Dies After Being Hit By Boat On Lake Wawasee

Aug 10, 2020

SYRACUSE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a central Indiana man has been killed in a boating accident on Lake Wawasee. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says responders were dispatched around 6 p.m. Saturday to reports of a person being struck by a boat. Investigators say 20-year-old Nathaniel Mroz of Fortville was one of three people being pulled on a tube behind a boat when they were thrown off into the water. As the boat was trying to pick up the people, it hit Mroz. He was later pronounced dead at the scene. Mroz was wearing a life jacket.

Michigan Wolf Population At Nearly 700 But Leveling Off

Jul 27, 2020
(National Park Service via AP, File)


Indiana Governor Defends Officer Response To Assault Report

Jul 9, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says he is "proud" of the state's Department of Natural Resources amid criticism that the agency's conservation officers didn't adequately respond to the reported assault of a Black man by a group of white men at a lake last weekend. The governor said during a news conference Wednesday that the agency's officers acted according to protocols. But Katharine Liell, a lawyer for Vauhxx Booker, the man who says he was attacked, is calling on the governor to do more.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan state parks will resume collecting admission fees Monday after a three-month break because of the coronavirus. The recreation passport costs $12 when renewing a license plate registration through the secretary of state or $17 at park entrances. The cost is lower for motorcycles. The pass is valid for one year or until the current vehicle registration expires. The pass allows people to visit more than 100 state parks and recreation areas. Camping, overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelters in state parks also reopen Monday.

Photo provided by the Indiana DNR


Today the Indiana DNR announced that after two days of searching, the body of a man who went missing in Bass Lake was recovered.

(Read the release below.) 

Recovery of the body of Anthony Cohn, a swimmer who went missing at Bass Lake on June 2, has been made. 

At approximately 6 a.m. today, members of the Bass Lake Fire Department located Cohn’s body while searching near the area where he was last seen. 

Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene and were assisted by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the Starke County Coroner’s Office. 

Cohn went under the water at Bass Lake after attempting to reach his boat that had pulled free from a sandbar. His family has been notified.


The Indiana DNR is searching for a missing man in Bass Lake. 

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 48 additional confirmed deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 1,764. The state announced nearly 30,000 total confirmed cases, with nearly 203,000 Hoosiers tested.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials say all of Indiana’s state-operated inns, campgrounds and cabins and will reopen Friday in time for the Memorial Day weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased across much of Indiana. The state Department of Natural Resources says all of its campgrounds, property-operated cabins, camper cabins and inns would reopen Friday under the eased restrictions approved by Gov. Eric Holcomb. DNR spokesman JB Brindle says the state agency has 7,701 camping sites around the state.

Derek Jensen/Wikimedia Commons

An environmental group is asking the governor to veto legislation that it says would harm the state’s wetlands. The Hoosier Environmental Council says recent changes to a bill regarding drain maintenance in wetlands don’t go far enough. 

The bill aims to help local governments cut costs by allowing them to fix or reconstruct a drain in a state wetland without a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Indiana DNR via Facebook

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — State wildlife officials say that about 200 fish found dead Sunday in a northwestern Indiana river likely died due to natural causes.

The dead shad were found near a Portage, Indiana, marina along the East Branch of the Little Calumet River.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources' communication director, James Brindle, says all indications suggest the fish died from “a natural event."

Indiana Approves Nature Preserve With A `Significant' Cave

Jan 25, 2020

Indiana's newest state nature preserve features dramatic limestone outcrops and a cave inhabited by rare animals adapted to life in total darkness.

The Natural Resources Commission recently approved the creation of the Patoka Hills Nature Preserve, which spans nearly 27 acres in southern Indiana's Crawford County.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the new preserve contains a small cave that's home to a springtail insect and a cave millipede.

Both creatures lack eyes and pigmentation and are rare worldwide.


BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — State conservation officers are investigating the shooting death of a bald eagle in southern Indiana and offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources officials say the investigation began last week when a Lawrence County animal control officer and others were notified of an injured eagle. Attempts to revive the bird were unsuccessful.

The birds are no longer endangered but remain protected by two federal laws.

Authorities are seeking help from the public. 

Indiana State Park Closures Set For 4 Days Of Deer Hunts

Nov 9, 2019
Bob Kuhns/National Parks Service

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Seventeen Indiana state park sites will close their gates to visitors for a pair of two-day deer hunts in the coming weeks.

The hunts are scheduled for Nov. 18-19 and Dec. 2-3. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says wildlife biologists evaluate the parks to determine where deer hunts are needed to ensure healthy habitats for native plants and animals.

This year's hunts come after a state appeals court rejected a lawsuit challenging the DNR's authority to allow hunters armed with rifles into state parks.


Update: Identity of Swimmer Recovered in Lake Michigan Released

Indiana Conservation Officers are identifying the individual who passed away during a water-related incident in Lake Michigan on Saturday as 32-year-old Brandon Howard of Constantine, Michigan. The original news release incorrectly stated the victim was 35 years old.

Howard was seen slipping under the surface of the water without resurfacing at around 5:50 p.m. Saturday evening. Howard’s body was recovered at approximately 8:00 p.m. in 10 feet of water.

Photo provided through IN DNR

UPDATE:  The Indiana DNR issued an update today on the impact that weather is having on the search for Rahem Mason in Lake Michigan off the beach in Michigan City.

Here is the latest from the DNR: 


The rough water and high waves on Lake Michigan continue to hinder divers searching for missing South Bend swimmer Rahem Mason.

Witnesses observed Mason, 17, disappear beneath the surface of the water on Lake Michigan and not resurface at approximately 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

Divers from Michigan City Police, LaPorte County Sheriffs Office, Michigan City Fire Department, and Indiana Conservation Officers met this morning and determined conditions were unsafe to conduct dive operations due to five-foot waves in the Washington Park area.

Waves crashed over the break wall as members of the various departments walked the lighthouse pier to visually search the area near the pier. The Michigan City Fire Department launched a UAV (drone) to search the area from the air. 

Indiana Conservation Officers are considering a sonar search by boat this afternoon if the lake provides workable conditions for sonar use.

Divers from the respective departments plan on diving tomorrow morning if the weather cooperates.

A committee plans to study how the state manages its forests this summer. The idea came from a failed House motion by Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) that would have set up a task force to look at practices like logging and make recommendations to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan DNR Planning Controlled Fires This Spring

Apr 4, 2019

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) — If people in rural Michigan see smoke in the sky this spring, it won't necessarily mean there's a problem.

The state Department of Natural Resources is planning a number of "prescribed" fires around the state. They're typically ignited in spring and fall.

Winter Fish Kills In Michigan

Mar 15, 2019
Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources


LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State officials say small numbers of dead fish may be common sights in Michigan waters as winter's snow and ice melt.

      Gary Whelan of the Department of Natural Resources says very cold temperatures and heavy snow can kill fish and other aquatic animals such as turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish.

     Shallow lakes with lots of vegetation are especially prone to winter kill. Aquatic plants covered by ice and snow die from lack of sunlight and use up dissolved oxygen as they decay, which can cause fish to suffocate.

The trapping season sets a quota of 600 otters total and two per person.