Go to Article 9 in Indiana Administrative Code 312 to get the rules specifically for the Division of Fish and Wildlife. Moving fish between waters can introduce diseases, disrupt the adaptive characteristics of a local population, or cause competition between species that negatively affects game fish and aquatic resources.
Anglers who are participating in fishing tournaments must comply with all existing laws and regulations regarding bag limits and boating safety. Applications for these permits are reviewed for biological impact to the fish and lake community.
In the most recent session, the state legislature passed a bill to regulate group watercraft activities on public waters, which includes fishing tournaments (He 1075). A description of the Indiana Lakes Management Work Group and copy of their final report, including the recommendations that led to passage of He 1075, are on the web at:.
The DNR published a notice of intent to adopt administrative rules in the Indiana Register on September 1, 2000. In 2000, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law (He 1075) which allowed the DNR to regulate additional watercraft activities involving 15 or more boats on public waters, including fishing tournaments.
For instance, the size limits listed in the section of the Fishing Guide on “Bass Regulations” show that the legal length is 14 inches for large mouth bass in most inland lakes and Lake Michigan and 12 inches on rivers, but also lists several water bodies for which special size regulations differ from the standard restrictions. Cast nets are not approved gear for catching game fish in any Indiana waters (312 IAC 9-7-2 and 9-7-16).
Cast nets are only legal for taking bait fish or minnows in most waters. Do not dump bait buckets or move any live fish from one lake or river to another waterway.
Introduction of live fish into a water body is stocking and requires a permit from the DNR. Even though gizzard shad are native to Indiana, they can be detrimental to fisheries where they were not previously established.
If you catch an unusual fish, such as an aquarium fish or exotic species, take a close-up picture of the fish that would show identifying characteristics, measure its length, write a description of the color, behavior or other unusual characteristics, and report the location and date to the District Fisheries Biologist in your region. Eligible species for the official competition are on an established list of the most common sport fish in Indiana.
Recent additions to this list have been significant species that have been introduced to the state in the past several decades. Shortly after the new year, entries are reviewed to determine the largest fish of each species.
Entry forms are in the Fishing Guide, but you can also submit the following information in any format Name and address of angler with telephone number Enclose a good photo that would show the species of fish and some indication of size.
Catch and release is an important fisheries' management technique promoted by the DNR. However, the fisheries in Indiana are also managed for a harvest that is carefully monitored through creel surveys (asking a statistical sampling of anglers what they are catching and keeping) and fish surveys (shocking, netting or trapping a statistical proportion of the population).
If there is evidence that the harvest is negatively affecting the size, growth rate or age distribution of that species, fisheries regulations are adjusted to protect the population through slot limits or limits on fishing gear. Fishing provides a healthy and inexpensive means of supplementing food resources.
If you have further questions about a particular species or location, please feel free to refer them to the fisheries' biologist who covers the counties of interest. Algae can cause a bad taste in water and fish that is rarely toxic.
Toxic chemicals do not necessarily alter the flavor or color of the fish. If your fish are in an isolated pond that has not received drainage from industrial facilities or other toxic chemical runoff, eating them probably presents a lower risk of contamination.
Risk can be reduced by trimming fat and skin from the fish and by cooking. However, mercury is deposited from the air and can build up to toxic levels in older fish in any waters in the state.
Pregnant women and children are at higher risk of negative effects due to exposure to chemicals in food. Three agencies within the state work together every year to provide improved access to this important information.
The IDEM annually collects fish and conducts tissue analyses. Each year, they review and improve their methods to ensure that the most effective data are collected to adequately assess risk to the angling public.
Within the past several years, the three agencies have agreed to use the more protective “risk based assessment” (RBA) analysis that was developed for fish in the Great Lakes region. The Idol issues hard copies of the complete fish consumption advisory and has posted it on their website every year since 1998.
The DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife prints and distributes one-half a million copies of this guide each year. Fishery surveys and reports from anglers suggest that the White River suffered a serious setback with the fish kill of December 1999.
These fish must recover through migration and natural reproduction over a number of years. The Department of Health has indicated that anglers can return to using the fisheries advisories which were placed on this stretch of river prior to the 1999 incident.
More information on fish consumption advisories is located on the Indiana State Department of Health website. Eagle Creek Reservoir Eagle Creek Reservoir offers excellent fishing for large mouth bass and catfish.
Summit Lake State Park Families can find excellent fishing for bass, crappie, and sunfish. Muskellunge It was once believed that there were at least four species of muskellunge, but these varieties are now considered to be one species Lake Trout The lake trout has considerable value both as a sport fish and a food fish.
Stripes, walleye, northern pike, coho salmon, steel head trout, muskies, crappie, and large mouth bass are just a few of the popular target species. A bit of warning, warm-weather lovers should stick to the spring unless ice fishing on a frozen lake in the winter piques your interest.
This fork of the White River runs right through downtown Indianapolis and is one of the best places to fish in Indiana for small mouth bass. Alicia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors.
Alicia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations.