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FishIN in the City

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If numbers gathered from the first year of the Go FishIN in the City program are any indication, it was a solid start for the DNR’s newest urban outreach effort.

The objective of Go FishIN in the City is to provide shore fishing opportunities for Hoosiers who live in larger Indiana communities. To that end, the DNR in 2013 stocked catchable-size channel catfish at a dozen ponds in city parks that are family friendly and well maintained. Rainbow trout were added at some of the ponds.

“Fishing is a big deal in Indiana for both recreational and economic reasons,” said Bill James, chief of the Fisheries Section with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “But not everyone has equal access to Indiana’s public fishing waters.”

So, Go FishIN in the City was launched in 2013 to take fish to the people.

Surveys conducted at nine of the 12 ponds stocked in 2013 found more than 24,000 anglers fished approximately 44,500 hours from April 1 through Aug. 30. More than 90 percent of all anglers who fished at an urban site lived in the county where that park pond was located.

They reported catching 11,100 fish and taking more than 8,200 of them home to the dinner table. Almost half the fish caught were bluegill that already were present in the ponds and not part of the stocking program.

Nevertheless, awareness of the DNR’s emphasis on urban fishing may have served as an incentive for some anglers to visit their local city park ponds. Half of those surveyed said they had heard of Go FishIN in the City.

The program is a spinoff of Go FishIN, which has been around for years and currently is coordinated by the DNR’s Clint Kowalik. He added to the Go FishIN in the City effort with 11 youth, family or senior fishing clinics at nine of the urban fishing sites last summer. They drew a combined 650 participants.

One of the clinics was in conjunction with the Terre Haute Parks & Recreation Department’s 32nd annual Kids Fishing Rodeo at Dobbs Park.

“We had an awesome turnout,” said Carissa Lovett with the Dobbs Park Nature Center, noting the event drew 189 participants. “That’s the most we’ve had since 2007.”

DNR officials are pleased with the first-year numbers, which provide baseline data for evaluating the program in future years.

Urban fishing

Planned 2014 Stocking Sites

Diamond Valley Park, Evansville

Dobbs Park, Terre Haute

Garvin Park, Evansville

Kiwanis Lake, New Albany

Krannert Lake, Indianapolis

Meadowlark Pond, Carmel

Munger Park, Lafayette

Lakeside Park, Fort Wayne

Riverside Park, Indianapolis

Robinson Lake, Hobart

Washington Twp Park, Avon

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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