By Louie Stout
The ice is disappearing on Lake Michigan and the cohos are pushing into the shoreline and the mouths of tributaries.
Indiana Lake Michigan Biologist Ben Dickinson said anglers were catching quite a few coho at pier heads around the southern end of Lake Michigan.
“The ice is gone now and the boats are starting to get out and have success at creek mouths and near shore,” he said. “Coho, lake trout, browns and an occasional king has been caught. It’s sporadic, but the fish are there.”
The spring St. Joseph River steelhead run into Indiana waters is a week or so away because the water temperature remains cold due to the snow runoff.
Due to an egg shortage in Wisconsin, the Indiana DNR recently received only 168,000 of the 225,000 Chinook salmon eggs it needed for stocking in Lake Michigan in the spring of 2021.
Although Wisconsin harvested enough green eggs to meet Indiana’s egg request, an unusually low number of viable eggs has resulted in shortages. Hatchery managers refer to newly fertilized eggs as green eggs. Several weeks after fertilization, the eyes of the salmon embryo become visible, signaling the egg is viable. At that point, the eggs are referred to as eyed eggs.
By the time the poor eye-up was determined, it was too late to obtain more eggs from any source, because the Chinook spawning run had ended.
The Indiana DNR has recently stocked more than 9,000 surplus rainbow trout, thanks to a strong production season at Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station.
The surplus trout range from 6 to 8 inches long. Fish were stocked in northern Indiana at Pinhook Lagoon, St. Joseph County - 1,600 fish; Martin Lake, Lagrange County - 435 fish; and Oliver Lake, Lagrange County - 1,484 fish.
Anglers 18 and older must have a valid Indiana fishing license and trout stamp. Each can be purchased at on.IN.gov/INhuntfish. The catch limit per angler is five trout.
DNRís trout stocking program offers an exciting and safe way for families and anglers to experience the fun of fishing.†Find out more about upcoming stockings at wildlife.IN.gov/5457.htm.Learn more about Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station at wildlife.IN.gov/5461.htm.To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
A surplus of rainbow trout has given anglers additional trout fishing opportunities in northern Indiana.
Along with its planned stockings, the DNR will stock several additional sites for the holiday weekend. Find a list of planned stockings online at wildlife.IN.gov/5457.htm.
Sites receiving surplus trout are:
Although these stream sites are the only areas to receive additional trout in May, fish from the initial releases in late April are still available in most of northern Indiana’s trout streams.
The bag limit for trout in inland waters, other than Lake Michigan and its tributaries, is five fish per day with a minimum size of 7 inches. No more than one of these can be a brown trout. In addition, brown trout taken from the Oliver Lake chain and Brookville tailwater must be at least 18 inches in length. An Indiana fishing license and a Trout/Salmon Stamp is required to fish for trout.
DNR fisheries’ staffers have been busy in recent days stocking thousands of trout in preparation for the opening of inland stream trout season.
The season opens Saturday at 6 a.m. local time. By opening day, DNR will have stocked over 23,000 rainbow trout in 17 streams in 12 different counties. To find a stocked stream near you, see the 2020 Trout Stocking Plan at wildlife.IN.gov/5457.htm.
The stocked trout come from Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station near Howe in LaGrange County and average roughly 11 inches in length.
Trout will bite on a variety of different artificial baits such as spinners and flies, but natural baits such as worms and bee moths tend to be the most popular. The bag limit for trout in inland waters, other than Lake Michigan and its tributaries, is five fish per day with a minimum size of 7 inches. No more than one of these can be a brown trout.
Any brown trout kept from the Whitewater River must be at least 18 inches in length.
Anglers 18 years and older will need an Indiana fishing license and a Trout/Salmon Stamp to fish for trout. Per Indiana Executive Order, 2019-20 annual licenses and stamps, including fishing licenses and Trout/Salmon Stamp Privileges, are valid until May 22, 2020.
Hoosiers should follow posted restrictions and practice social distancing while outdoors. For the most up-to-date information regarding DNR and COVID-19, visit on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19.