Indiana Freshwater Fishing
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”
Such was the assessment of a Scottish writer many years ago.
Hoosier anglers, generally speaking, might not contemplate fishing in such philosophical terms, but our love for this ancient endeavor rivals that of our counterparts anywhere in the world.
We are fortunate to live in a state that abounds with opportunities to cast a line; having more than 450 natural lakes and 21,000 miles of fishable streams. For some, fishing is a true sport – an activity in which competitors participate in derbies or tournaments, vying against other enthusiasts to catch the largest specimens within a set period of time.
For the vast majority, fishing is a form of recreation and relaxation.
Some people enjoy fishing in solitude, finding peace and quiet as they connect with nature from a lakeshore, riverbank or boat deck.
Others view fishing trips as social outings, cherishing the company of friends and family as a vital part of the experience.
Whatever their specific preferences and traditions, all Hoosier anglers make important contributions to the cause of conservation in Indiana by purchasing fishing licenses. Proceeds qualify for federal matching grants and are used to sustain healthy habitats and fish populations across Indiana.
So thank you for the important role you play, and I wish you all the best this year as you set out for that prize catch.
State of Indiana Governor
The DNR’s walleye stocking program is the cover story (see Pg. 23) for this year’s Indiana Fishing Guide.
But it’s the story behind the scenes that makes it possible to not only have the walleye program in Indiana but also many others like it that provide you fishing opportunities.
That story has to do with the DNR hatchery system and the dedicated fisheries biologists working at those locations – Bodine (Mishawaka), Cikana (Martinsville), Driftwood (Vallonia), East Fork (Montgomery), Fawn River (Orland), Mixsawbah (Walkerton), and Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station (Howe).
While some fish species reproduce well enough on their own in the wild, the seven facilities in our system annually supplement the population with millions more fish that are distributed statewide into public waters.
Bluegill, black crappie, chinook and coho salmon, channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, muskellunge, rainbow trout, redear sunfish, sauger, saugeye, steelhead trout, and, of course, walleye are the primary species hatched and raised at these sites.
Most aren’t much more than a couple inches long when released, but they grow up. And if you’ve ever caught one of these fish, it’s a good bet it came from one of our hatcheries.
The hatcheries and the fish they produce would not be possible without you. It’s your purchase of a fishing license that generates funds needed to operate the hatcheries.
The result is a return on investment that all anglers can appreciate – better fishing.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director
This program receives federal aid for fish and/or wildlife restoration. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, please write to the Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (DOI) Washington, D.C. 20240.