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Dan Bortner

Fishing means a lot of different things to many different people. For some, it is an opportunity to unwind in solitude, get away from the hustle and bustle, and concentrate on something besides everyday responsibilities and concerns. For others, hitting the many waterways of Indiana with a rod and reel is a fun way to connect while catching fish and spending quality, uninterrupted time with those you care about most. Other folks just want to catch the wide variety of fish in our waters, from bluegill to bass and beyond.

For me, fishing means all of the above and more—spending time outdoors with family and friends, relaxing and sharing memories of past fishing trips while making new ones, and experiencing some of the most treasured, beautiful spaces the Hoosier state has to offer, from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River.

Those memories of taking in the Hoosier outdoors with loved ones are priceless. Whether it is the joy of being there when a child grins from ear to ear after catching their first fish, the taste of a healthy freshly caught meal, or landing a big one worthy of a photo, a fishing trip is an opportunity to share good times with one another and make memories that will last a lifetime.

See you on our lakes, rivers, and streams this year as you enjoy the people and the things you love most. I hope the fish are biting for you and yours every time out.

Dan Bortner

Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Amanda Wuestefeld

Our cover photo sends me down memory lane and makes me look toward the future. Some of my fondest memories are of fishing with my family when I was young. I spent hours on a pontoon fishing with my brother, parents, and grandparents. I hope my kids feel the same happiness when they remember the similar moments we’ve shared, and I hope you can create those experiences with your family.

As I look forward to our Division of Fish & Wildlife’s work in 2022 to help create memorable fishing trips, staff across the state are striving to raise fish in our hatcheries, collect fish status and trends data, and meet specific habitat needs of fishing communities. We are testing a system to increase production of larger walleye in northern Indiana to improve stocking success of that species. In lakes where aquatic plants are lacking, we are installing artificial habitat. Those are just two examples.

You will notice that we have increased license fees. The fee for a fishing license had not changed in 15 years. Unlike many state agencies, the Division of Fish & Wildlife is funded almost entirely through the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses as well as the grant dollars we receive through the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. We depend on your contributions, a big part of which are license purchases, to sustain the programs and services that protect Indiana's fish and wildlife resources now and into the future.

Thank you for your participation in fish, wildlife, and habitat conservation in Indiana as you make new memories this year.

Amanda Wuestefeld

Director, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife