Indiana's Waters of Lake Michigan to be Stocked with Brown Trout


Anglers who seek brown trout should put Indiana's waters of Lake Michigan on their future trip list.

The waters will soon be stocked with 35,000 brown trout, which are roughly four months old and 3-4 inches long.

Beginning in 2002, Indiana DNR made arrangements with the Illinois DNR to provide brown trout for stocking the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. The nine years of brown trout stockings since then have occurred typically in late June at four different locations along Indiana's 45 miles of shoreline.

"This program improves the diversity of fishing opportunity in Lake Michigan" said Indiana DNR's Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert.

Brown trout feed extensively on the large, near-shore forage base of round goby.

"Some years we have witnessed higher harvest on the lake and lakefront," Breidert said. "Other years have dropped below pre-2002 levels.

"Indiana stream anglers have also enjoyed the mixture of species but again the harvest has not increased dramatically as a result of these stocking efforts."

Indiana would like to rear these fish to a larger size to increase survival rate once stocked but there is limited space within the hatchery program for doing so.

"Annual reviews of rearing practices have fine-tuned our facilities to maximize growth, fish health, and numbers for the current suite of species that are part of Indiana's coldwater hatchery program." Breidert said. "Any production changes would require reductions for one species to accommodate another.

"We continue to strive to provide maximum fishing opportunities within our Lake Michigan program for all anglers. We are pleased to continue this program with the assistance of the Illinois DNR and the Jake Wolf hatchery staff."

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