DNR’s hatchery staff recently completed spring stockings for Lake Michigan and its tributaries, adding more than 589,100 trout and salmon to public waters.
Locations stocked include East Chicago Marina, East Branch Little Calumet River, Salt Creek, Trail Creek, and the St. Joseph River. Among the fish stocked were 90,280 brown trout fingerlings, 77,166 Coho salmon yearlings, 225,776 Skamania steelhead yearlings, and 195,915 Chinook salmon fingerlings.
Due to the COVID-related cancellation of the spring 2020 egg take at the Little Manistee Weir in Michigan, no winter-run steelhead yearlings were stocked. To make up for this shortfall in fish production, Indiana raised extra Skamania steelhead yearlings and obtained twice as many brown trout as usual from Illinois DNR.
The opening day of trout season for inland streams kicks off April 24 at 6 a.m.
DNR biologists have been stocking rainbow trout across the state.
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.