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.
Several northeast Indiana water bodies have been stocked with nearly 4,000 brown trout averaging 8 inches in length.
Trout from Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky were stocked by DNR fisheries biologists into the Oliver Lake chain in LaGrange County (Oliver, Olin, Martin lakes), Pigeon River at County Road 1100 West on the LaGrange-Steuben County line, Solomon Creek at County Road 33 in Elkhart County, and the Little Elkhart River at County Road 10 in Elkhart County.
The bag limit for trout in inland waters, not including Lake Michigan or 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. Anglers 18 years and older will need an Indiana fishing license and a trout/salmon stamp to fish for trout.
Anglers are advised that sections of Solomon Creek and The Little Elkhart River are designated as year-round "catch-and-release" only and "artificial lures or flies only" trout fishing areas. These sections include Solomon Creek from County Road 33 downstream to the Elkhart River and the Little Elkhart River from County Road 43 downstream to County Road 16, except for waters along Riverbend Park from C.R. 16 upstream to the pedestrian footbridge.
Brown trout taken from the Oliver Lake chain must be at least 18 inches in length.
For additional information on area trout stockings visit www.wildlife.IN.gov/5457.htm.
Hoosier anglers can expect additional rainbow trout in northern Indiana streams in the upcoming weeks.
Streams that will receive additional trout include:
Pigeon River, Turkey Creek and Little Elkhart River will be stocked for the weekend of May 11-12 and Memorial Day weekend, May 25-26.
Little Kankakee River, Potato Creek and Slocum Ditch will only be stocked for Memorial Day weekend, May 25-26.
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 must be at least 18 inches in length.
Anglers ages 18 years and older will need an Indiana fishing license and a trout/salmon stamp to fish for trout. For additional information on trout stockings in the state, see the Trout Stocking Plan on the DNR website.