By Louie Stout
Bill LaVigne holds up a 21-inch walleye he caught from Hurshtown Reservoir.
If you like catching good numbers of smallmouth and walleye, Hurshtown Reservoir could be the place to go.
The clear, 260-acre impoundment near Grabil, Ind. lies about six miles northeast of Fort Wayne. It’s managed by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation department and serves as an emergency water supply for Ft. Wayne.
The lake has special regulations worth noting. Boat power is limited to electric motors although you can use a boat that has an outboard; you just can run it. The gates don’t open until 7:30 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. There is a $4 launch fee and the lake is only open to anglers from May into October.
Also, no launching is allowed when the wind is blowing 15 mph or more, and yes, the lake is susceptible to wind. It would be wise to call the office (260-627-3390) before making the drive.
Despite the special rules, Fort Wayne angler Bill LaVigne can’t say enough good things about the fishery. He targets walleyes but catches smallmouth as well.
“My buddy Gary LaRue and I made seven trips there this year and we’ve caught 36 smallmouth and 83 walleyes,” he said. “Most of those walleyes were 2 year olds but we had eight over 16 inches and two that were 20 inches. The lake had a heckuva walleye spawn a couple of years ago.”
The bass fishing may be even better.
The emergency order restricting motorized watercraft to idle speed on the West Lakes Chain in Noble County has been rescinded.
Normal boating operations may resume. The West Lakes Chain consists of Jones, Steinberger, Tamarack and Waldron lakes.
Mark Reiter, director of DNR's Division of Fish & Wildlife, has retired after 39 years of service.
Reiter started as a biologist aide in 1977. He quickly rose through the ranks as a laborer, property manager, staff specialist, and eventually wildlife chief. After leaving the division for three years to work for the National Rifle Association, he returned as a wildlife staff specialist and public lands program manager before becoming director of Fish & Wildlife in 2009.