Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

October 21, 2012

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Elkhart River stocked with healthy walleyes

GOSHEN — More than 3,200 young walleye were stocked into the Elkhart River recently thanks to the Elkhart River Restoration Association.    

The walleyes measured 6 to 8 inches long and a few were close to 10 inches, according to Dar Deegan, member of the association and aquatic biologist for Elkhart.    

“They were very healthy looking fish and we think they should do very well,” said Deegan. “Some of these fish will be of legal size sometime next summer.”    

About 1,100 of the fish were stocked between the Goshen Dam and Baintertown Dam while 2,150 were put in between Goshen and Elkhart.    

While the St. Joseph River has a 15-inch size limit to match Michigan’s regulation, the Elkhart River size limit is 14 inches.     

“It’s our hope that anglers who catch these fish before they are legal size will unhook them carefully and return them safely to the river,” Deegan added.

    The fish were purchased from a private Wisconsin hatchery, the same hatchery used by the Indiana DNR and Michiana Walleye Association for St. Joseph River stocking. The money came from the Restoration Association members and fundraisers.     

The plan calls to stock the Elkhart every other year and in alternate years that the St. Joseph River is stocked. However, more private funding through donations is needed.    

“We really need help if we’re going to continue this,” said Deegan. “We hope the addition of walleye will bring more attention from anglers about the need to restore and take care of the Elkhart River system.”    

Individuals and businesses can help out by making donations through the association’s website, www.elkhartriverrestorationassociation.org.

Muskie record

Michigan’s muskie record was not only broken last week – it was crushed.    

Joseph Seeberger of Portage, Mich. caught the 58-pound fish on Lake Bellaire in Antrim County while fishing for smallmouth bass.    

The previous state-record muskie was caught by Kyle Anderson of Rapid City, Mich., on Torch Lake in Antrim County in Sept. 2009. That fish weighed 50.5 pounds and measured 56.13 inches.    

Seeberger’s fish measured 59 inches and had a girth of 29 inches. He caught it on a 7¼-inch sucker minnow rigged on a 7-foot G. Loomis Gl-3 spinning rod, Pflueger Supreme reel spooled with 8-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon line. A No. 1 Gamakatsu octopus hook was tied directly to the line and a small split shot was pinched two feet above it.    

According to a report on the Field and Stream website, it took nearly two hours to land. After the fish tired, landing it required the help of two friends, who broke two bass nets in the process. They also tried tying two life jackets together to create a cradle, but the jackets were too buoyant to get under the fish. They finally created lassoes with dock lines and placed one around the head and the other around the tail to hoist the fish into the boat.

Steelheaders fish boil    

The Michiana Steelheaders annual public Fish Boil will be Saturday at DeAmici Club in Mishawka.    

The all-you-can-eat dinner runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $7 for adults and $4 for kids with carryout available.     

Dinner includes fish, potatoes, Cole slaw, baked beans bread and beverage. For more information, call Patty, 574-993-0368.

Youth hunt    

The Pheasants Forever 8th Annual Youth Pheasant Hunt and Conservation Day will be held next Saturday for area youths.    

The free event will be held at the Maier Pheasant Farm in Bremen from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be two separate groups, with the first between 8 and 1 and the second 11 to 4.    

Each participant will have 2 pheasants placed in the field and dogs and guides will be provided. There also will be workshops in firearms safety, trap shooting, and game calling. Activities also include a .22 rifle shooting competition, archery, fishing and youths will be taught how to clean the birds. Birds will be bagged to take home.     

Participants must be less than 18 years of age, have a valid Indiana youth hunting license, and accompanied by an adult. A solid hunter orange article of clothing required. Participants should bring ammunition and a shotgun that fits them or one may be provided.     

Contact Brad Rupert to register or with any questions, 574-277-5373 or bradrupert@sbcglobal.net.

Open river tourney    

An open bass tournament has been scheduled for the St. Joseph River in Benton Harbor.    

Tournament hours are 7:30 to 2:30 at the DNR landing across from Tackle Haven and Benton Harbor High School.

The entry fee is $50 (includes big bass) and all fees go back into the purse. Also, prizes from Jackall Lures and “Please Release Me” livewell treatment will be given away.     

Call John Gipson, Jr. at 269-362-4670, for info.

Tournament meeting    

Indiana conservation officers will host a public meeting with fishing tournament organizations to help them schedule events on Sylvan or Wawasee lakes next year.     

The meeting will be Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Indiana Conservation Officer’s District 1 Headquarters located at 9822 North Turkey Creek Road along the southeast side of Lake Wawasee in Kosciusko County.    

Indiana law requires a permit for a weekend fishing tournament of 15 boats or more, between April 1st and September 30 on Lake Wawasee and Sylvan Lake. The meeting will give those organizations interested, an opportunity to obtain a pre-approved date for their tournament. Any person representing an organization must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Indiana. Applications to scheduled tournaments on either of these lakes received after this meeting date will be handled on a first come first serve basis.    

Further questions may be directed to Lt. John Karris at 574-457-8092.

 Contact Goshen News outdoor writer Louie Stout at info@louiestout.com.

 

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

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