The state is helping folks learn more about trout fishing in hometown waterways, after freshly stocking two local spots.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently hosted two events to teach local anglers more about trout fishing, one at Shoaff Park in Fort Wayne, and one at Memorial Park in Huntington. The DNR recently had stocked both sites with about 200 rainbow trout, most measuring 12 to 14 inches long.
The Shoaff program was held on Friday, October 18, from noon to 3 p.m., according to Tyler Delauder, a Fisheries Biologist with DNR Fish & Wildlife.
The agenda on that day began with a one-hour class to instruct attendees on the basics of trout fishing. Instructors included Delauder and another DNR employee who taught topics such as basic fishing methods, bobbins, in-line spinners, how to tie flies, and casting techniques.
Once the classroom time was complete, students were turned loose on one of the park’s ponds to try their hand at reeling in some real trout. Fishing was done on the pond near the west end of the park, close to the St. Joseph River.
All anglers had to be at least 18 years old, and were required to have a valid Indiana fishing license and trout stamp. In addition, the DNR supplied a limited amount of fishing rods and bait for new fisherman attending the program. The bag limit was five trout per angler.
About 20 people attended the Shoaff event, according to Delauder.
The second class took place in Memorial Park in Huntington on Saturday, October 19. That event was geared more toward families, Delauder said.
He said about 40 people showed up for that program, many with their children and grandchildren in tow. Delauder estimated that about 10 to 15 kids were in the group of anglers taking the Huntington course.
Luckily, the DNR also partnered with local store Sportsman’s Warehouse, with the retail spot supplying bait, in-line spinners, red wigglers, bee moths and other live bait for novice anglers.
The state also placed small, orange plastic tags on many of the newly stocked trout in order to count the number of trout caught during the event. Small canisters were placed around the pond for fisherman to remove the tag from the fish so they could be returned to the DNR.
And in the near future, another Fort Wayne location will see trout stocking from the DNR. Spy Run Creek recently saw improvements through efforts by the DNR and the Fort Wayne Parks Department, adding rock structures to help direct water flow and restore the creek’s riffles and pools. Riffles are areas where shallow water moves faster over the rocks, while pools are deeper sections where water moves more slowly, and fish tend to congregate.
To celebrate the improvements, the DNR plans to stock about 200 rainbow trout in the creek. Spy Run Creek has been stocked with trout each spring since 1986. “We wanted to restore the stream using natural restoration techniques, and at the same time, make it better for anglers,” Delauder said.
The Spy Run stocking took place on October 26.
Delauder noted that all of his department’s recent programs are about more than just teaching beginners the ropes of trout fishing.
“We’re just trying to offer these programs to teach the skills so people can fish for trout in this area,” Delauder said, “It’s kind of just a good opportunity to learn these skills for the experienced fisherman and the first-time angler.”
To learn more about DNR fish stocking programs, you can visit wildlife.IN.gov/547.htm