Inland waters stocked with trout in IndianaMay 12, 2019
Column by Brandon Butler
Trout fishing isn’t something widely practiced in Indiana. With very little cold-water habitat, trout don’t survive through the summer in most Hoosier lakes and rivers. But for a few months each year, trout are plentiful in certain waters across the state thanks to stockings performed by the DNR. If you enjoy trout fishing, or have always wanted to give it a try, now is the time to do so.
Indiana’s Inland Trout Stocking Program provides anglers the opportunity to fish for put-and-take trout in numerous lakes and rivers throughout Indiana. Approximately 50,000 trout have already been stocked in 16 counties, ranging from Fancher Lake in Lake County in the northwest corner of the state to the Big Blue River in Henry County along the southern border. Trout fishing is allowed year-round in these lakes and rivers, but most become too warm in the summer to holdover cold-water fish, so brush up on your trout recipes because these fish are meant to be kept and consumed.
Anglers may pursue these trout with any legal method of fishing, but this is a fine opportunity to give fly fishing a try if you’ve never done so before. You don’t need a lot of equipment. A 5 weight fly rod combination is a perfect outfit. As for flies, the basics, like woolly buggers and caddis work well. Everyone from fly fishing novices to the most experienced among us should find pleasure in catching trout on a fly rod.
If you have never traveled to northern Indiana to fish, now is a great time to do so, as additional trout are being stocked. Streams that will receive additional trout include: Pigeon River in Steuben County and at the LaGrange-Steuben County Line, Turkey Creek in LaGrange County, Little Elkhart River in Elkhart County, Little Kankakee River and Slocum Ditch in LaPorte County and Potato Creek in St. Joseph County.
According to a DNR press release, 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.
The great thing about Indiana’s Inland Trout Stocking Program is anyone, meaning any type of angler of any skill level, can catch trout. Families can enjoy fishing together and you can work with kids to build their interest in fishing. Anglers that want to catch fish and take a few trout home to eat can do so, and those looking just to have some fun with catch-and-release can do that also. If you like to catch trout, Indiana does provide opportunities. Most don’t last all year long, but few outdoor opportunities do.
To see a list of all the Indiana waters where trout have been stocked this year, check out the DNR 2019 Inland Trout Stocking Plan available on the DNR website.
See you down the trail…
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