News & Notes
Indiana Freshwater Fishing
Eagle Marsh berm blocks Asian carp path
Asian carp have one less route to the Great Lakes, thanks to the completion of a barrier at Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve in Fort Wayne.
Closure of the potential pathway through construction of a new earthen berm across the floodway at Eagle Marsh prevents the interbasin passage of Asian carp into Lake Erie from the Wabash River.
Asian carp are widely considered a grave threat to the ecological health, stability and value of the Great Lakes. Preventing the introduction and establishment of Asian carp into the Great Lakes is a national priority.
The 716-acre Eagle Marsh wetland is owned jointly by the Little Rivers Wetlands Project and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) holds a Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) easement on the site.
Construction of the 1.7-mile-long, 7.5-feet-high berm took about three months and used 177,000 cubic yards of compacted fill. The project cost about $4.4 million and used WRP funds from NRCS to construct the berm and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds for work outside of the WRP site.
For more information on the actions of the ACRCC, please visit: www.asiancarp.us.
Muskie stocking changed
Responding to a decline in muskie fishing at Lake Webster, the DNR has modified its stocking program at the popular northern Indiana lake.
Normally, biologists stock 8- to 10-inch muskies in the fall. Instead, they kept 1,500 fish over the winter of 2015-16 at Fawn River State Hatchery in Orland and fattened them up with minnows. When the muskies were released last spring at Lake Webster, they were 12-14 inches long.
By stocking larger muskies in spring, biologists hope to overcome factors that reduced muskie survival in recent years.
Muskies were first stocked into Lake Webster in 1981. By the mid-1990s, the lake developed into a fishing hotspot that attracted muskie anglers from throughout the Midwest. In 2005, anglers caught 2,200 muskies. Last year, they caught 560. Fishing efforts directed at muskies dropped by 50 percent over the same period.
Northern lakes crappie study
Catching nearly 5,000 black crappies in one day at Shipshewana Lake might be an angler’s dream, but for DNR fisheries biologist Steve Donabauer the catch was nearly a nightmare.
He caught them last April in two trap nets as part of a region-wide study of crappie numbers and sizes. Most were small.
The first-of-its-kind study will help DNR biologists understand crappie populations in northern Indiana’s glacial lakes. Previous information on crappies was limited because they are difficult to catch in standard fish-population surveys.
“We bought some newly designed trap nets that can target crappies, especially in the spring,” Donabauer said. “The huge catch at Shipshewana obviously proved they work.”
The traps worked so well Donabauer removed them after the first day. Enough was enough.
In addition to Shipshewana in LaGrange County, DNR biologists sampled seven other lakes – Simonton (Elkhart County), North Twin (LaGrange County), Hudson (LaPorte County), Mill Pond (Marshall County), Big and Skinner (Noble County), and Gage (Steuben).
Shakamak bass limits changed
Shakamak, Kickapoo and Lenape lakes in Shakamak State Park now have a 14-inch minimum length limit for black bass.
The change became effective last year as a way to help control gizzard shad populations in the park.
The previous regulation involved a 12- to 15-inch slot limit. It was enacted to encourage anglers to harvest more largemouth bass, thereby increasing the size of remaining bass.
The new regulation will result in decreased bass harvest. Decreased bass harvest will lead to increased predation on gizzard shad, helping protect panfishing at all three lakes.
Catfish nest boxes placed
Channel catfish may be more likely to reproduce in a Hoosier National Forest lake, thanks to work by DNR fisheries biologists.
When Saddle Lake, near Tell City, was drawn down for dam repairs last year, DNR biologists placed 19 nesting boxes in the exposed lake bed in an effort to improve natural reproduction of the sport fish.
Half of the boxes were covered with large rock. The purpose is to see if the rock will improve spawning and juvenile fish success. Biologists will use an underwater camera to monitor box use by channel catfish this summer, then conduct netting in the fall to see if young channel catfish are collected.
Regulaciones de Pesca
El DNR División de peces y vida silvestre (DFW) ha publicado un folleto de reglamento de pesca de seis páginas en español llamado “Regulaciones de Pesca, Indiana 2017.”
La idea fue estimulada por la investigación por el recreo y pesca Fundación (RBFF) que mostraron los Latinos a nivel nacional disfrutan de actividades al aire libre, pero participan en pesca en tasas más bajas. El DNR espera para ayudar a los hispanohablantes a superar barreras, tales como la falta de información y experiencia, con esta versión resumida de la guía de pesca de 2017, en español.
Existen sitios web como Vamos a Pescar, por RBFF, dan a Latino información general de los pescadores de pesca deportiva, pero no ofrece regulaciones estado-específicas, según Mark Reiter, Director de DFW.
“Queremos que todos tengan acceso a las regulaciones que puedan entender fácilmente”, dijo Reiter.
Regulaciones de Pesca se puede encontrar en la caza del estado de www.fishing.IN.gov.
Regulaciones también se traducirá en un formato similar para las temporadas 2016-17.