Anglers and other interested parties can participate in two DNR public meetings, Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, to discuss the interim Lake Michigan fish stocking plan and provide input on future stocking plans.
Announced in October 2019, changes to the current plan included stocking more yearling coho salmon, fewer fall fingerling coho salmon, reductions in Skamania steelhead stocked in the Little Calumet River, and increases in Chinook salmon stocked.
The first meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at Red Mill County Park, 0185 South Holmesville Road in LaPorte. The second meeting will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Indiana Harbor Yacht Club, 3301 Aldis Avenue in East Chicago.
The Indiana DNR stocked approximately 120,000 Michigan-strain steelhead into three Lake Michigan tributaries this week.
On Dec. 16, approximately 40,000 fish were stocked into the Little Calumet at Mineral Springs Road. On Dec. 17, another 40,000 were stocked into Trail Creek at Meer Road and Salt Creek at West County Road 600 North.
These fish measure approximately 4.25 inches and will stay in the streams until spring before migrating to Lake Michigan. Once there, the fish will spend two to three years in Lake Michigan and return to the streams they were stocked into to spawn.
Anglers should take care when fishing these areas if they catch undersized trout. These fish are under the legal size limit and are sensitive to being caught. If you are catching these fish, consider moving to a different area of the stream or try switching your method of fishing. These new fish are crucial to the continued existence of the fishery.
By Louie Stout
When Lake Michigan fish managers decided to cut king salmon stockings a few years ago, it didn’t set well with a lot of trollers.
Who could blame them? There are a lot of cool fish stocked in Lake Michigan, but none gets bigger or puts up a better fight than kings.
But those big salmon are eating machines, and with the alewife population diminishing – coupled with evidence that the kings were reproducing naturally - fish scientists felt it was necessary to cut back on stocking numbers.
Well, if you look at what’s happened on the lake since the cutbacks, that decision may have been the right one.