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Indiana Walleye

The website for people who love walleye fishing


DNR News


It's reel fun with a catch
Free Fishing Weekend is June 12-13

Put a wake on a lake or crank on a bank and get in on some Hoosier panfish pandemonium during Indiana's Free Fishing Weekend.

Hoosier adults do not need a license to fish in Indiana this June 12-13. Children under the age of 17 do not need a fishing license at any time.

To help kids and adults celebrate Free Fishing Weekend, recreation areas located across Indiana are planning fun fishing derbies, casting clinics and fish cleaning and cooking classes.

Check out a new lake or river, or introduce friends and family to a favorite fishing spot. Some properties require pre-registration. Call your favorite property for details.

Free Fishing Weekend event locations:

- Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area, Edinburgh, 812-526-2051

- Brown County State Park, Nashville, 812-988-5240

- Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber SRA), Cloverdale, 765-795-4576

- Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon SRA), Rockville, 765-344-1412

- Cedar Lake, Lake County, 219-374-6157

- Chain O' Lakes State Park, Albion, 260-636-2654

- Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, 317-327-7110

- Falls of the Ohio State Park, Jeffersonville, 812-280-9970

- Ferdinand State Forest, Ferdinand, 812-367-1524

- Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park, Oceola, 574-674-9765

- Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis, 317-591-0904

- Glendale Fish and Wildlife Area, Montgomery, 812-644-7711

- Hardy Lake, Scottsburg, 812-794-3800

- Hot Pond Park, Lebanon, 765-482-8860

- J. Edward Roush Lake, Huntington, 260-468-2127

- Mansfield Mill, Mansfield, 765-344-1412 (Raccoon SRA)

- Mississinewa Lake, Peru, 260-468-2127

- Monroe Lake, Bloomington, 812-837-9546

- Ouabache State Park, Bluffton 260-824-0926

- Oxbow County Park, Goshen, 574-535-6458

- Patoka Lake, Birdseye, 812-685-2447

- Potato Creek State Park, North Liberty, 574-656-8186

- St. Patrick County Park, South Bend, 574-277-4828

- Salamonie Lake, Andrews, 260-468-2127

- Shakamak State Park, Jasonville, 812-665-2158

- Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Vallonia, 812-358-3464

- Summit Lake State Park, New Castle, 765-766-5873

- Versailles State Park, Versailles, 812-689-6424

- Whitewater Memorial State Park, Liberty, 765-458-5565

- Wyandotte Woods State Recreation Area, Corydon, 812-738-8234

More 2004 Spring Fishing Festivities

- Hoosier National Forest at Camp Maumee, June 5, 812-275-5987

- Hoosier National Forest at Derby Quarry, June 5, 812-547-7051

- Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, June 5, 812-522-4352

Although no fishing license is needed to fish public waters on Free Fishing Weekend, all other fishing regulations are still in effect. Individuals who need reasonable modifications for effective participation in Free Fishing Weekend events should contact the property at least 72 hours before the
event. Or, call the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife ADA Coordinator at 317-232-4080 (voice and TDD).

DNR property information:

Indiana fishing reports:

Media Contact:
John Maxwell


Indy's first-ever bald eagles hatch 4/20/04
Heritage Trust purchase produces city's first eagles

The first recorded bald eagle nest in Indianapolis has produced Indiana's
first-ever capital city eagle chicks.

"One of our guys checked the nest Friday, and he saw a little head poke up out of the nest," said Indianapolis Parks Department real estate manager Paul Smith.

DNR photographer John Maxwell confirmed the presence of two chicks in the nest today. "They were little gray fuzzy things gulping down duck meat as fast as they could swallow," said Maxwell.

The nest is at Southwestway Park on land purchased this year using Indiana Heritage Trust license plate funds. The purchase is in an area being rapidly developed with housing subdivisions.

The new Indy eagle chicks add to the spate of Hoosier eagles repopulating Indiana. More than 60 Hoosier eagles were hatched in state nests last year, and Indiana DNR biologist John Castrale counted a record 49 eagle nests with eggs during helicopter surveys this spring.

Castrale also confirmed a second eagle nest on the southwest side of
Indianapolis on the White River north of I-465.

The 96 acres of natural area near Southwestway Park was purchased this year using nearly $300,000 in Indiana Heritage Trust funds.  The Heritage Trust land conservation program is funded by the sale of environment license plates. More than 30,000 acres have been conserved over the last ten years.

Photos of Indy eagle chicks:

Heritage Trust information. See what makes the blue plate special:


State, IPL complete sale of forest in Morgan County 4/13/04
Hunting will be open this fall

Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) and state officials have finalized paperwork to complete the purchase of 1,511 acres of forest land in Morgan County.  State officials paid $4,534,200 for the property as the final act to a process that began in the fall of 2002.

"The closing is much, much more than a simple business transaction," Gov. Joe Kernan said. "We have secured for future generations an important part of our Hoosier landscape. The acquisition of this land strengthens our environment and adds to our protected natural resources in an area that has seen and will continue to experience rapid economic development."

The land is part of 4,050 acres that IPL originally owned and planned to
sell at public auction last December. Successful negotiations between the state and IPL for the 1,511 acres were concluded before the scheduled auction and the remaining 2,539 acres of farmland and forest were purchased by a group of local businessmen.

"This is a shining example of how a public and private partnership can
benefit everyone," said IPL President & CEO Ann D. Murtlow. "IPL joins the community in its excitement about using this land in a way that so many will be able to enjoy."

The purchase price for the land comes from the Indiana Department of
Transportation's Crossroads 2000 fund. The forested land will be considered as mitigation for forestland that will be lost to future highway projects.

The land purchased by the state is an upland forest located east of Burkhart Creek and north of Indiana 67. It is bordered on the north and east by privately owned forestland.

The state Department of Natural Resources will manage the land as part of Morgan-Monroe State Forest. In the future wildlife watchers, birders, hikers and hunters will all be able to enjoy the new property. Hunting will begin in the fall of 2004.

"These new acres are a great addition to our public land in Indiana," said DNR Director John Goss. "I especially urge anyone with an interest in this property to join DNR forestry staff on April 24 for a public open house to discuss this and other DNR-managed forests in the area."

The forestry open house is one of a series on all the state forests that
began Feb. 24 and will continue through June 3. The open houses will include displays about recreation activities, budget issues, staffing, major projects, the Indiana Heritage Trust program, and resource management.

The Saturday, April 24 Yellowwood and Morgan-Monroe State Forests open house has been expanded to include some information about the new purchase.

The open house will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (EST) at the Shelter House at Yellowwood State Forest, seven miles west of Nashville (about five miles west of Nashville on St. Rd. 46, then about two miles north on Yellowwood Road). Phone (812) 988-7945.

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Fish preparation workshop 4/12/04

Get ready for spring fishing by learning how to make the most of your catch.

Purdue University educators David Osborne and Dr. Charles Santerre will present a free workshop on cleaning and preparation of fish on April 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at SEPAC Farm, just west of Butlerville, Ind.

Learn electric knife filleting skills and practice your technique. Discover
practical methods and recipes to improve the quality and taste of common Indiana fish species while sampling some delicious fish dishes. Gain a better understanding of what the Indiana fish consumption advisory means to you and your family.

For more information or to RSVP, call (812) 689-6511.
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River walleyes getting bigger

Biologist Larry Koza shows off a 9 1/2-pound walleye that biologists shocked up while surveying the St. Joseph River below the Elkhart dam. State officials tagged the fish and released it.


Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists Neil Ledet and Larry Koza joined Elkhart city biologist Joe Foy for a quick survey of walleyes holding below the Elkhart dam this week. They turned up several keeper-size walleye, including one weighing more than nine pounds.


Ledet said more than 100 walleyes averaging 16 1/2 inches were counted during the electro-fishing survey. The biologists worked between the dam and Main Street bridge. The prize, however, was a 9- 1/2 pounder that was tagged and returned to the water. "We were encouraged by the number of 16- to 19-inch fish we saw -- more than we've seen in years past," said Ledet. "We also noticed the fish were a lot fatter and probably weighed about a half-pound heavier."


Of the 100 or so fish handled by the biologists, all but six were males. That's not unusual, Ledet said, as the males are drawn to the dam area during the spawning season and tend to stay longer than the females. "I suspect that if we went in at night we'd find a lot more of the bigger females," he added.


Walleyes have been stocked in the St. Joseph above the Elkhart dam each year since the mid-1990s.


Weed control permit issued for Webster

April 9, 2004

NORTH WEBSTER – State officials have approved permits to apply herbicides in Lake Webster and nearby Backwater Lake this spring to control 52 acres of nuisance aquatic weeds along residential shorelines.

    In addition, approval was granted to treat any recurring stands of Eurasian water milfoil found throughout the lakes.

    Water milfoil is non-native plant that choked off portions of both lakes in the past and displaced native species.  Major control efforts were undertaken in 1999 and 2002 to eliminate milfoil, so officials are willing to grant approval to locate and spray milfoil plants that reappear.

    According to Jed Pearson, Division of Fish and Wildlife biologist, lake residents have hired a licensed chemical applicator to treat milfoil, as well as coontail, chara and curly-leaf pondweed, another non-native species, within a 50-foot band along most of the shore of Webster and along the west side of Backwater.

    “The main purpose of the control program is to keep milfoil in check and keep nearshore boating lanes and swimming areas open for lake residents,” says Pearson. “Lake Webster and Backwater are very productive, so without some weed control measures, plants can block access to deeper water.”

    Pearson says the proposed treatments are reduced in scope compared to recent years.  He expects the amount of herbicides needed to control milfoil to be minimal.

    “Last year we approved treating up to 77 acres of near-shore area in Webster and seven acres in Backwater,” says Pearson. “This level of control has been in place there for several decades and has had no apparent harmful effects on lake water quality or fishing.”

    Pearson says the milfoil control program used in 2002 virtually eliminated the plant from the lake. During a survey he conducted last summer in July, no milfoil was located in Webster and only a single strand was found in Backwater.

    However, the aggressive milfoil control program prompted complaints from some anglers that the milfoil control effort went too far. They cited declines in water clarity, overall reductions in aquatic plants, and poor fishing as unintended consequences of the control program.

     “If milfoil can be kept under control, we hope to see other native plants flourish in the lakes,” says Pearson. “So far that hasn’t happened. But given the amount of milfoil present before, maybe another year or two is needed to see how other plants respond in the absence of milfoil.”

     Pearson plans to conduct another plant survey this summer to compare the results with previous surveys.

     “Plant management at Webster Lake has become more contentious in recent years,” he says. “So the survey results should tell us how the plant community is changing and guide us when making future decisions.”


Hoosier bird celebration

Hoosier National Forest is hosting a free International Migratory Bird Day
educational program on May 8 at Monroe Lake near Bloomington.

The "Habitats on the Hoosier" celebration offers opportunities to learn
about nearly 350 species of Indiana birds.

Guest speakers will present workshops throughout the day on topics ranging
from wildlife landscaping, important Indiana bird areas, and nature
journaling. Families can build nest boxes, create bird feeders, design
binoculars, identify birds from a birding blind, or participate in learning

Participants should dress for the weather. The event will be held rain or
shine at Hardin Ridge Recreation Area. Guided bird tours begin at 7 a.m.,
while workshops and booths open at 9 a.m. The event will conclude with an
Owl Prowl at 8 p.m.

For more information visit the Hoosier National Forest Web site at:

Or contact Cindy Basile at (812) 547-9229.

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