INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE/DNR) When it comes to stocking fish in Indiana waters, 2014 was a banner year.
The DNR and organizations with a DNR permit stocked 31.9 million fish in 70 counties in 2014. In a typical year, stocking numbers are between 22 million and 24 million fish.
The increase was primarily due to a near-record number of walleye eggs collected at Brookville Lake by DNR biologists for hatchery production. Those eggs also had a higher-than-normal survival rate. As a result, biologists stocked approximately 10 million more walleye fry than normal.
Other species stocked throughout Indiana were bluegill, brown trout, crappie, channel catfish, chinook salmon, coho salmon, grass carp, hybrid striped bass, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, muskie, pike, rainbow trout, redear sunfish, saugeye, steelhead, striped bass and yellow perch.
Stocking fish size ranged from fry to channel catfish and muskellunge more than a foot long.
Stockings supplement natural reproduction or help establish a species in an area where it cannot reproduce on its own.
“Fish stockings not only add value to the fishery but also give a boost to the local economy by bringing additional anglers to the area,” said Brian Schoenung, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife fisheries chief.
District fisheries biologists evaluate fish populations to determine the best sites for stocking. For questions about stocking at a specific location, contact your district fisheries biologist. A map of districts and their biologists is at fishing.IN.gov/3590.htm.
It is illegal to stock public waters without a DNR permit.
The fish are produced at the state’s seven hatcheries and one trout rearing station. Information on hatcheries is at fishing.IN.gov/3077.htm.
Fish were raised and stocked with the help of anglers through fishing license sales and the Sport Fish Restoration Fund, which collects excise tax paid by the manufacturer on qualifying fishing equipment.