Bass fingerlings to boost Fort Wayne fishing

Press release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Bass fingerlings to boost Fort Wayne fishing

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources continued efforts to improve fishing opportunities in Fort Wayne by recently stocking 780 largemouth bass into the ponds at Lakeside Park.

The stocking is part of the “Fishin’ in the Fort” program initiated in 2008 with the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department. The program aims to evaluate local fish populations, improve fishing around the city, and encourage youth to participate in outdoor activities.

The bass, approximately one to three inches long, were surplus fingerlings from this year’s state hatchery production and were stocked to prey on small sunfish.

“A fish population survey in 2008 showed that bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish were very abundant and exhibited slow growth rates,” said DNR fisheries biologist Nate Thomas. “Similarly, few bass were captured in the survey, indicating there were not enough predators to control the sunfish population.”

Thomas expects the largemouth bass to have noticeable effects in the next three to four years. Bass stocked this fall may limit sunfish reproduction in the spring by feeding on their fry. With a couple of years, he said the bass will be large enough to prey on adult sunfish. He said the stocking will provide potentially more and bigger bass for anglers and with less sunfish, bluegill fishing also should improve.

“It’s all an effort to create balance among predators and their prey,” Thomas said. “This will help provide better fishing in the future.”

The DNR also stocked surplus largemouth bass in Cemetery Pond near J. Edward Roush Lake, Hominy Ridge pond near Salamonie Reservoir, and Bostwick’s Pond near Missisinewa Reservoir.

The IDNR would like to remind anglers that they may only keep up to five (5) largemouth bass per day and that each must be at least 14″ long. Additionally, state fishing regulations are enforced at all waters historically stocked with state-reared or state-purchased fish, including the requirement of anglers 17 years and older to carry a valid annual state fishing license.

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  1. Way back in 1952, when our family lived on Florida Drive just one block north of Lakeside Park, the largest smallmouth bass entered in the Main Auto Fishing Contest was caught by yours truly (at 16 years old) in the Lakeside pond between Lake and Columbia Streets.


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