Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DNR stocking programs help trout & salmon tournament

Indiana DNR Release:

A mix of Chinook salmon, lake trout, steelhead, brown trout and coho salmon were caught during the Hoosier Coho Club’s 36th Annual Hoosier Coho Classic on the Lake Michigan waters of Indiana, May 1 and 2.

More than 960 fish were weighed in, prompting Brian Breidert, IDNR’s Lake Michigan biologist, to call this year’s catch one of the best in recent years, topped only by the record-setting weights in the 2009 tournament.

Even though fish were not as large as last year’s, some Chinook weighed up to 17 pounds, lake trout weighed up to 23 pounds, and a pair of brown trout cracked the upper teens in weight. Breidert and his crew collected essential biological data at the weigh-ins. Some 64 boats and more than 300 anglers fished Indiana’s Lake Michigan waters each day.

“Many had been in the area fishing for more than three weeks in preparation,” Breidert said, pointing to the effect on the local economy.

The high numbers registered were no accident. The tournament was held on the tail end of the IDNR stocking program for Lake Michigan, during which more than 500,000 steelhead, 240,000 coho salmon and 233,000 Chinook salmon were released in the northwest Indiana tributaries, the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 93,000 lake trout at the harbor in Michigan City last fall and earlier this spring.

Bodine and Mixsawbah state fish hatchery managers Dave Meuninck and Tom Schwartz reported meeting their stocking goals.

“ Our stocking programs help keep the lake ecosystem in check by controlling alewife populations, which in turn provides quality fishing opportunities for anglers fishing for trophy sized trout and salmon,” Schwartz said.

Breidert said plenty fish are left, making for excellent spring fishing in Indiana’s Lake Michigan waters.

No comments: