Goshen News, Goshen, IN


May 7, 2012

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Record season for muskie in state

GOSHEN — SPORTS EDITOR’S NOTE: Louie Stout makes his debut as the Goshen News’ outdoor columnist this week. Contact him with comments or story ideas at stoutoutdoors@comcast.net.

Indiana’s muskie program got even brighter this spring when state biologists collected a record-matching 1.9 million eggs from adult females at Lake Webster.     

The Kosciusko County lake is the crown jewel of Hoosier muskie fishing and has become a popular attraction for muskie anglers throughout the Midwest.    

The eggs taken there in the spring were fertilized with milt from male muskies and will be used to produce approximately 24,000 fingerlings for stocking 15 Indiana lakes and reservoirs.     

Biologists set large fish traps at nine locations in March and caught 143 muskies, including 69 female muskies, over a six-day period. Although most of the muskies were 36- to 40-inches long, the largest measured 45.5 inches.   

After hatching, the fry and small fingerlings are fed pellet-food and minnows before stocking in the fall.    

The DNR began stocking muskies in the 1970s. Since the late 1990s, Lake Webster has served as Indiana’s brood stock for muskie eggs.    

Other northern Indiana lakes containing muskies created from the Webster egg-taking program include Lake Tippecanoe and the Barbee Chain, both of which have developed into viable muskie fisheries as well. Others muskie lakes include Loon, Bruce and Skinner.     

Although biologists think some muskies may be spawning directly in Lake Webster, the DNR continues to stock about 3,800 fingerlings each fall to maintain the muskie population there.

Need info on clubs    

Northern Indiana is blessed with quality sportsmen clubs that not only provide educational and fun-filled activities, but many make valuable contributions to the community.    

We’d like to tell our readers about them, but we need to know who they are, what they do and how other readers can you get involved. If you head up a local fishing, hunting, boating and conservation club, email us your information.    

Please include the following:    

Club name, location and brief background about the club, its purpose and any meaningful projects it conducted the past year.    

Tell us your meeting frequency (when and where), your annual dues, and contact information, including a name/phone number, email address and club website link, if available.    

Submissions must be by email only, sent to stoutoutdoors@comcast.net.

Deadline is May 21.

Walleye tourney winners    

Mike Rhoads (South Bend) and Randy Gains (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) won the Michiana Walleye Association tournament on Lake of the Woods (Bremen) recently.    

The winners ($300) had 7.36 pounds of walleye caught on spot tail jigs tipped with minnows in 20-25 foot of water that transitioned from mud to sand.    

Second place ($150) went to Shawn Knight (Goshen) and Doug Burkhead (Osceola) with a 4.01 pound walleye  that was big fish ($280) on a bottom bouncer with a nightcrawler harness. Dave and Adam Hayes (Edwardsburg) were third.     

For information about walleye tournaments call Ed Szymczak, 574-707-5407, or visit www.michianawalleye.blogspot.com.

Lake, river grants    

New grants for the care of Indiana’s waters have been awarded to several area groups through the Indiana DNR Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program.     

The projects were submitted by local sponsors who also commit to sharing a portion of their cost. DNR’s portion comes from the LARE fee paid annually by boat owners’ registration fees to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.     

The grants are for invasive aquatic vegetation management, sediment removal and logjam removal.   

Area projects include:    

Elkhart County: St. Joseph River, vegetation management survey and plan, $6,000: Conn’s Pond and Puterbaugh Creek, sediment removal plan, $7,500; Goshen Pond and Elkhart River, sediment removal plan, $7,500; and Simonton Lake (Elkhart), sediment removal plan, $7,500.     

LaGrange County: Adams Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $19,400; Atwood Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $13,400; Big Long Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment $32,000; Big Turkey Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $40,000; Little Turkey Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $16,720; Stone and Brokesha lakes, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $23,374; Wall Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $10,900; Oliver, Olin and Martin lakes, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $17,720; Little Turkey Lake, sediment removal plan, $7,500; Stone Lake, sediment removal plan, $7,500; Adams Lake sediment removal project, $64,000; and Westler and Dallas lakes, sediment removal project, $40,000.     

Kosciusko County: Beaver Dam and Loon lakes vegetation management survey, plan and treatment; $6,368; Big Chapman and Little Chapman lakes, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $43,500; Dewart Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment $35,880; Lake Tippecanoe, Lake James, and Oswego Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $28,400; Lake Wawasee and Syracuse Lake, vegetation management survey and plan for starry stonewort, $14,500; and Lake Wawasee, sediment removal project, $50,000.     

Marshall County: Mill Pond, Kreighbaum, Cook and Holem lakes vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $22,800; and Koontz Lake, vegetation management survey, plan and treatment, $76,000.

Koontz yields big bass    

Matt Hoffer and Ron Pokrajac (Hamlet, Ind.) set MARCO Bassmasters’ Indiana Farm Bureau Tournament Series records while winning the team bass tournament on Koontz Lake last weekend.  

The winners weighed in a record-setting 15.10 pounds, anchored by a 7.74-pound largemouth that also broke the record for biggest bass in the series. The winning weight record broke the previous mark of 14.17, also set at Koontz two years ago.    

Greg Anderson and Jeff Dever (Converse, Ind.) finished second (12.29 pounds) while Andy Buss (North Liberty) and Steve Prange (Niles) were third with 12.21 pounds.    

The top 10 teams registered five-fish limits weighing over 10 pounds.     

The next event is the First Response Bass Cleanup July 1 on the St Joseph River at the Six Span access in Elkhart.


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