With the exception of Lake Michigan and the Brookville Tailwater, Indiana doesn’t have much to offer trout fishermen all year long. However, few seasons last 365 days a year. Indiana trout fishermen just need to get out while the getting’s good.
Indiana’s Inland Trout Stocking Program provides anglers the opportunity to fish for put-and-take trout in 17 lakes throughout Indiana. Approximately 24,000 trout were stocked in lakes in 14 counties, ranging from Clark County in the south to Lake County in the north. The trout are 9 inches long. Trout fishing is allowed year-round in these lakes, but most become too warm in the summer to holdover cold-water fish, so don’t feel bad about keeping what you catch.
Anglers may pursue these trout with any legal method of fishing, but this is a fine opportunity for fly fishing. Everyone from fly fishing novices to the most experienced among us should find pleasure in catching trout on a fly rod. These hatchery trout aren’t rocket-scientists. You can catch them on about anything, but taking trout on dry flies is a special treat.
If you have never traveled to northern Indiana to visit Potato Creek State Park, now is a great time to do so. Aside from trout fishing in the park itself, trout are also stocked in North Liberty Town Park. Together, those two spots received 700 fish this season, according to Jamie Pejza, DNR assistant fisheries biologist.
Potato Creek State Park offers a wonderful family campground, a nature center, hiking and biking trails and excellent fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie on Lake Worster. Trout anglers should find fish near the paved bicycle trail creek crossing. Parking is available at the West lot. Anglers targeting these fish will have to hike or bike approximately one mile along the bicycle trail to get to the area but will be rewarded with unrestricted access along a scenic stream.
The daily bag limit is five trout, and no more than one can be a brown trout. The minimum size limit is 7 inches. Keep your limit or a portion of it, and cook them fresh over a fire back in the campground.
Here are a few waters stocked with trout in southern Indiana:
Greene County: Airline Pit: 24.4 acres
Location: Greene-Sullivan State Forest, 5 miles south of Dugger on State Road 159.
Midland Lake: 21 acres
Location: Midland Lake is on Hillenbrand Fish & Wildlife Area, five miles north of Linton, one-half mile east of State Road 59 on County Road 700N.
Henry County: Big Blue River
Location: Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area; 2 miles north of New Castle on State Road 103, then one- half mile west on County Road 200N
Parke County: Harden Reservoir Tailwater
Location: State Road 59, three miles south of Bellmore, east 2 miles on County Road 32.
Vigo County: Maple Avenue Park Lake: 11 acres.
Location: Northwest side of U.S. 41 and Maple Avenue, Terre Haute.
Franklin County: Brookville Tailwater
Location: From the Brookville Reservoir Dam downstream 2 miles.
Clark County: Oak Lake: 4 acres
Location: Clark State Forest at Henryville.
Jefferson County: Johnson Lake: 5 acres
Location: Johnson Lake Park, Madison.
You can review Indiana’s trout stocking plan and a complete list of stocking locations at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/3622.htm.
The great thing about Indiana’s Inland Trout Stocking Program is anyone, any type of angler of any age, can go and catch trout. Families can enjoy fishing together and you can work with kids to build their interest in fishing. Anglers that want to catch fish and take a few trout home to eat can do that and fly anglers can enjoy casting for trout with flies. If you like to catch trout, Indiana does provide opportunities. Most don’t last all year long, but few outdoor opportunities do.