Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stocked fish still abundant at Hurshtown reservoir

An Indiana Department of Natural Resources fish population survey done last summer indicates that Hurshtown Reservoir has an abundant population of naturally reproducing smallmouth bass and walleye, despite neither being stocked recently.

Smallmouth bass have not been stocked in the 242-acre northern Allen County impoundment since 1992, yet represent the second most populous fish found in the survey. Green sunfish had the highest population. The largest smallmouth collected measured 17 inches long.
“Smallmouth bass were stocked from 1989 to 1992 to provide more fishing diversity for anglers and to feed on over-abundant green sunfish,” said Nate Thomas, DNR assistant fisheries biologist. “They have adapted to the reservoir well and remain a popular fish at Hurshtown.”

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department (FWPRD) stocked approximately 13,500 3-inch walleye fingerlings from 1998 to 2000 for the same reasons as the smallmouth stockings were done.

“Collecting walleyes was a surprise because they have not been stocked recently and all of the walleyes we collected were only 2 years old,” Thomas said.

Although the walleye collected were of the naturally reproducing variety, Thomas warned against depending solely on nature to sustain a walleye population in the reservoir. He said he doesn’t believe the reservoir can naturally sustain a walleye population over time.
“Successful natural reproduction among walleye in northeast Indiana is rare due to lack of suitable habitat and other fish likely feeding on walleye fry,” Thomas said.

For more information, including complete findings of the survey, go to, or call Thomas at (260) 244-6805.

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