Owen and Clay counties are both blessed with bountiful numbers of ponds and strip pits that add scenic beauty to the area.
Some of these aquatic resources are utilized for fishing and recreation purposes while others may provide water for livestock or emergency sources of water for fire protection through installed dry hydrants.
Interesting though, many of these aquatic resources are not utilized in any sort of businesslike manner similar to how wooded areas or crop fields might be managed.
Two opportunities to help your pond or strip pit have more than of just recreational or aesthetic value will be available in March.
A two-part workshop is designed to help one learn what it takes to raise fish for personal or commercial production situations. An introduction into marketing will also be provided allowing folks to better investigate the possibility of utilizing their pond as a revenue source.
Session will will take place at 6:30 p.m., March 10, at the Purdue Extension-Owen County office, 180 S. Washington St., Spencer.
Bob Rode and Kwamena Quagrainie of Purdue will be the presenters. Rode will discuss management techniques and the necessary tasks that one must perform to be successful with raising fish. He also could answer questions related to fresh water prawns. Quagrainie will address the economics of raising fish and introduce concepts to get started in marketing should one desire to ultimately move on to marketing fish.
Session two will take place at 6 p.m., March 31, at the Owen County Fairgrounds, located next to the river at the far south end of East Street in Spencer.
During the session, two individuals will have the opportunity to construct a cage or participate with others who are building a cage.
The cages will be the smaller cylindrical cages for personal home fish production rather than the larger commercial sized cages.
Charlie Felkner, former and retired Extension Educator from Monroe County, will be the instructor for the session.
Pre-registration is required. Class size and space is limited. Session one program fees are $5 for each set of materials and will cover refreshments. Session two program fees will be $10 and includes pizza and drink. Individuals may also register to construct a cage which has an estimated cost of $60-75 above the registration fee.
At the March 10 session, after learning about aquaculture, one can decide what level his or her participation will be at the March 31 second session.
Registration forms may be downloaded from www.extension.purdue.edu/clay or by calling 765-653-9785 and asking for Michelle Phillips at Sycamore Trails RC&D.
You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 829-5020 Ext. 14 in Owen County or 448-9041 in Clay County for more information or publication copies regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While most publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.
March 6 -- PARP Program, Martinsville, 8:30 a.m.,
March 10 -- Aquaculture Program, Spencer, 7 p.m.,
March 26 -- PARP Program, Putnam Fairgrounds, 1 p.m.,
March 31 -- Fish Cage Costruction Workshop, Spencer, 6 p.m.