New For 2016 – Muskie, Bass, Walleye
Indiana Freshwater Fishing
Changes in Indiana fishing rules can be summed up in two words – size matters.
In addition to new catfish regulations, the Natural Resources Commission approved changes to the size limits for black bass, crappie, muskie, tiger muskie, sauger, saugeye and walleye in certain waters. For instance:
- Muskie/tiger muskie: Increases the minimum size to 44 inches on Backwater, Kiser and Webster lakes in Kosciusko County. The previous minimum was 36 inches.
- Black bass at Dogwood Lake: Reduces the minimum size to 14 inches at this lake in Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area in Daviess County. The previous minimum at Dogwood was 15 inches.
- Black bass at Kunkel Lake (Ouabache State Park): Allows no more than two largemouth bass to be taken per day, and they must be at least 18 inches long.
- Crappie at Dogwood Lake (Daviess County) and Hardy Lake (Scott County): Sets a 9-inch minimum size on these two lakes.
- Sets a 16-inch minimum size for walleye on all public waters (lakes, rivers, and streams) north of State Road 26, with the exception of Bass Lake (Starke County; remains 14 inches), Lake George (Steuben County; remains 15 inches), and Wolf Lake (Lake County; remains 14 inches).
- Eliminates the minimum size for saugeye on all state waters, except for Huntingburg Lake (Dubois County) and Sullivan Lake (Sullivan County)
- Adds sauger to the aggregate bag limit for walleye and saugeye (does not include the Ohio River).
Here are some other news rules for 2016:
- Game frogs: Allows the use of an air rifle that fires a lead pellet (.177 diameter minimum) at least 500 feet per second. A .22 loaded with bird shot is already legal to use to take these species. Air rifles and .22 rifles cannot be used on DNR State Parks properties.
- Game turtles: Establishes a season (July-March) for taking Eastern snapping turtles, spiny softshell turtles, and smooth softshell turtles. Also changes the daily bag limit to 4 total of these three species combined (possession limit of 8) and restricts the size that can be taken to only those with a carapace length of more than 12 inches.
- Sport fishing methods (except on the Ohio River):
- Allows three hooks to be used on a sport fishing line instead of two. This clarifies that umbrella (Alabama) rigs and similar devices can be used with no more than three hooks that have live bait or three artificial lures, or a combination of both. The number of hooks on all sport fishing lines also increases from two to three.
- Allows anglers to place their Indiana DNR-issued Customer Identification number or the name and address of the user on trot lines, limb lines, free float lines, tip-ups, and ice fishing shelters.
- Establishes hook restrictions on the East Fork White River when fishing near Williams Dam (Lawrence County) from March 15 through April 20. The restriction is from the dam to the Huron and Williams Road bridge) and is designed to protect spawning activity of endangered lake sturgeon.