DNR hatchery staff is stocking hybrid striped bass across the state for the benefit of Hoosier anglers. Hybrid striped bass, also known as “wipers,” are a hybrid species of white bass and striped bass. By hybridizing the two, hatchery staff is able to produce fish which grow faster and larger than a typical white bass, yet can tolerate a wider range of conditions than pure striped bass.

On June 17, DNR hatchery staff began stocking nine different lakes across the state with hybrid striped bass. The fish average between 1-1.5 inches when they are stocked, but can reach sizes averaging 13 inches by their second year.

Hybrid striped bass are known for being a challenging catch, but they also help control undesirable species such as gizzard shad in some Indiana lakes. Hybrid striped bass are typically not capable of reproduction. Stockings will be completed in these areas:

• Nyona Lake (Fulton County) – 1,040 fish

• Worster Lake (St. Joseph County) – 3,270 fish

• Clare Lake (LaPorte County) – 420 fish

• Lake Shafer (White County) – 12,910 fish

• Lake Freeman (White County) – 15,470 fish

• Shadyside Pond (Madison County) – 1,000 fish

• Monroe Lake (Monroe County) – 53,750 fish

• Hardy Lake (Scott County) – 7,000 fish

• Patoka Lake (Dubois County) – 44,000 fish

The anticipated stock numbers are not always realized due to production issues and other circumstances. However, Worster Lake, Shadyside Pond, Monroe Lake, Hardy Lake and Patoka Lake are good spots for beginner anglers.

Special Regulation Bring Larger Bass At Big Long Lake

Recent survey results indicate special regulations are producing larger bass at Big Long Lake in LaGrange County. Big Long Lake has a history of overpopulated bass numbers. Slow growth and stunted fish have caused smaller bass, with few bass reaching the 14-inch minimum size limit. Since the implementation of a 12-15 inch protected slot limit for largemouth bass, the 365-acre lake has seen positive changes in fish size.

DNR biologists surveyed the lake in 2010 and found the catch rates of bass were roughly five times higher than other natural lakes in the area. More than 1,900 bass were collected during the survey, and only one bass was over the 14-inch minimum size limit.

“Our objective with the 12-15 inch protective slot was to allow anglers to harvest the smaller bass that made up the majority of the population and protect the few larger individuals,” said Matt Horsley, DNR assistant fisheries biologist. “The remaining small bass now have a better opportunity to grow and reach a larger size.”

This spring, biologists sampled the lake again. During the survey, only 400 bass were collected, and catch rates were similar to other lakes in the area. Bass size was far better, with 77 bass more than 14 inches and 11 more than 18 inches. The largest bass captured was a 7-pound, 22.2-inch female.

“Anglers are definitely doing their part in reducing bass numbers and the results have shown,” Horsley said.

Horsley expects the special regulation will remain in place at Big Long Lake. Other lakes in the north region are currently being evaluated to see if a slot limit might be a feasible option in reducing bass numbers where needed.

Taking Out The Trash

Indiana Conservation Officers’ investigation into a series of illegal trash dumps has resulted in the arrest of Andrew Masterson (age 27) of Huntingburg.

In early May, Conservation Officers located four separate illegal trash dumps near the Dubois and Pike county line. Names and addresses were located in the trash, leading officers across three counties in an attempt to locate a suspect.

A series of interviews with landowners and possible suspects revealed Masterson had been removing trash from a property in exchange for scrap metal. The property owner believed the trash was going to a landfill; however, it was found at least 40 bags of trash had been dumped illegally on private property in multiple locations.

The investigation also found Masterson was operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, the vehicle used had false and fictitious license plates, and he was trespassing on the property where the trash was dumped.

Charges were submitted to the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office, and a warrant was issued for Masterson’s arrest.

On July 20, the Jasper Police Department arrested Masterson on multiple active warrants. Masterson faces the following charges in the Dubois Circuit Court:

- Criminal Mischief, Two Counts

- Criminal Trespass, Two Counts

- Operating a Motor Vehicle While Suspended with a Prior Conviction, Two Counts

- Littering, Two Counts

- Hindering a Conservation Officer, One Count

All charges are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Evansville Man Arrested On Multiple Felonies

Some people have the misconception conservation officers just check fishing licenses and insure people stay within game harvest limits. Yes, they do, but it is a far cry from the expanse of their duties.

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an incident resulting in the arrest of Dean Smith, age 24, of Evansville, for criminal confinement and battery with bodily injury.

The incident took place while Smith was boating on the Ohio River near the River Front Plaza, when a verbal argument took place with a passenger. According to witnesses, the argument became physical when Smith picked up the female and threw her down in the boat, forced her head over the boat toward the water, and threatened to kill her.

Smith and the female were eventually separated by other boaters. The female complained of arm pain, but did not seek medical attention at the time. Authorities were notified of the incident at approximately 5:00pm on July 19.

Responding agencies included the Evansville Police Department and Indiana Conservation Officers. The investigation is still ongoing, and all subjects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Idle Speed Restriction On West Lakes Chain

Due to declining water levels, the DNR has modified the No Motorized Watercraft restriction on the West Lakes Chain in Noble County to an Idle Speed restriction. The West Lakes Chain consists of Waldron, Steinbarger, Tamarack and Jones lakes.

An idle speed restriction is put into effect when surface water conditions are likely to enter dwelling structures as a result of wake.

‘till next time,

Jack

Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net.

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