Fishing opportunities in eight Indiana cities got a boost recently as part of an ongoing effort by the Department of Natural Resources to promote angling in urban areas.
On that day, the DNR stocked 11 ponds in Evansville, Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Avon, New Albany, Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Carmel with a combined 1,000 channel catfish. Each catfish stocked averaged more than 14 inches and weigh around 1.25 pounds.
This is the second round of catfish stockings through the new Go FishIn in the City program. The program will stock around 5,000 catfish throughout the state in 2013.
The selected stocking ponds are in local, family-friendly parks. Most of the parks have amenities such as public restrooms, playgrounds and easy shoreline fishing access. For more specific information about the parks, fish stockings or the Go FishIN in the City program, visit dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/7508.htm .
The Go FishIN in the City program has been popular with anglers, according to Matt Petersen, assistant fisheries biologist with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
"Anglers have been catching and harvesting a good number of catfish in many of the lakes and are generally happy with their trip even if they don't catch any fish," Petersen said.
This new program also has brought more visitors to these parks. One example is Krannert Park in Indianapolis, according to Krannert's assistant manager, Matthew Stone.
"We have had a big increase in anglers at the lake and people coming into the family center excited to tell us about the number of fish they are catching," Stone said.
Sydney Nuckols, a creel clerk for the DNR, will be interviewing anglers in the Indianapolis area to help evaluate the success of the Go FishIN in the City program. Anglers shouldn't be surprised if someone asks them how their fishing trip is going.
While many urban anglers practice catch-and-release, Petersen said there should be plenty of fish if anglers want to take some home for a meal.
"Harvest of channel catfish in most lakes has been minimal according to our angler surveys and with the next round of stocking only one week away there should be plenty of fish for everyone," Petersen said.
A valid fishing license is required to fish in all public waters for those not legally exempted. General fishing regulations apply.