The muskie population in Brookville Lake has increased substantially in the past two years, according to sampling by DNR fisheries biologists. Fisheries biologists have caught far more muskies the last two years during standard sampling than in previous years, with some of the highest catch rates observed since monitoring began in 1994. Muskies are sampled during the annual spring walleye broodstock collection at the lake.

“In the past, we might see a single muskie every eight nets we would run during the walleye spawn,” said Corey DeBoom, DNR fisheries biologist. “In the last two years, we’ve been capturing an adult muskie every two to three nets. We used to handle about 20 adult muskies in an average year but we saw over 50 in 2018 and 45 again this season.”

DNR biologists suspect the increase is a result of improvements to muskie rearing techniques. Hatcheries have produced larger muskie fingerlings for stocking in recent years, leading to increased survival.

“Anglers have also started to report an increase in the number of fish they are catching,” DeBoom said.

Anglers targeting muskie at Brookville Lake should focus their efforts on windblown shores, areas near the dam or other riprap, and standing timber. Fishing in low light and cloudy weather can improve odds of catching muskie. The best times of year are in the spring and fall when cooler surface water brings the fish into shallower depths. Most of the muskies at Brookville Lake will currently run 30 to 40 inches in length, but biologists have handled much larger fish up to 49 inches and 38 pounds.

Channel Catfish Stocked In Dobbs Park Pond

Dobbs Park Pond in Terre Haute is receiving 200 channel catfish as part of DNR’s Go FishIN in the City program. The catfish are part of an ongoing stocking effort at Dobbs Park. The pond received catfish earlier in April, and a final stocking is set to take place in June for a total of 500 catfish stocked in the pond.

The fish will come from Cikana State Fish Hatchery in Martinsville. The channel catfish are expected to weigh an average of 1.3 pounds and measure up to 18 inches in length.

Dobbs Park Pond is at 5170 East Poplar Street on the east side of Terre Haute.

Go FishIN in the City (wildlife.IN.gov/7508.htm) is dedicated to bringing anglers and fish together during peak fishing season.

Monroe Lake On the Water Series

The series aims to get you kayaking the waters of Monroe Lake, regardless of your experience. We have Intro to Kayaking Workshops to teach the basics, and guided Explore Monroe trips for people who already know what they're doing. The reservations typically fill quickly, so don't wait till the last minute to sign up. (And make sure you requested to be wait listed, if your choice is already full.)

Intro to Kayaking Workshop is located at the Paynetown SRA with a charge of $10 per person (kayak provided), and each workshop is limited to 8 people:

• Sunday, June 2 at 10 a.m.: Sign up at http://bit.ly/introkayak-6-02-19. Register by May 28. *8 spots available

• Sunday, June 23 at 10 a.m.: Sign up at http://bit.ly/introkayak-6-23-19. Register by June 19. *3 spots available

• Sunday, June 30 at 10 a.m.: Sign up at http://bit.ly/introkayak-6-30-19. Register by June 26. *8 spots available

• Sunday, July 14 at 10 a.m.: Sign up at http://bit.ly/introkayak-7-14-19. Register by July 8. *8 spots available

• Sunday, July 28 at 10 a.m.: Sign up at http://bit.ly/introkayak-7-28-19. Register by July 25. *8 spots available

Explore Monroe Paddling Trips, $10 per person trip fee (plus $20 for a kayak rental, if you don't have your own), each trip limited to 10 people

• Tuesday, June 11 at 9 a.m. (Pine Grove SRA): Sign up at http://bit.ly/explore-6-11-19. Register by June 7. *8 spots available

• Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. (Pine Grove SRA): Sign up at http://bit.ly/explore-6-19-19. Register by June 13. *8 spots available

• Tuesday, July 9 at 9 a.m. (Stillwater-Northfork): Sign up at http://bit.ly/explore-7-09-19. Register by July 5. *8 spots available

Dugout Canoe Building

Learn how dugout canoes used to be built from experienced volunteers at Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes on various dates this summer.

Mississinewa’s 1812 living-history event volunteers will be making two dugout canoes for their October re-enactment, and are inviting people to come and watch them work using both traditional and non-traditional tools. The volunteers will be working on several dates throughout the summer.

Dates for Mississinewa Lake canoe building are May 18, July 20, and Sept. 21. Meet at Bostwock Pond in the Miami State Recreation Area (SRA).

Dates for Salamonie Lake canoe building are June 15 and Aug. 17. Meet at Wildlife Management Pond at the Lost Bridge West SRA. All demonstrations will be from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be limited opportunity for the public to participate. Property entrance fees apply.

Man Dies Jumping Into Water From Cliff

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a suspected drowning occurring on May the afternoon of May 15 at France Park (Cass County Parks Department) in Cass County.

At approximately 1:50 p.m., Cass County 911 received a report of a man in the water. A man and a woman kayaking nearby heard a man yell to them from a rock ledge above. They reported they then observed the man jump from the ledge into the water. They immediately paddled toward him to render assistance.

The kayakers were able to quickly locate the victim, who was struggling at the surface. They attempted to throw him a floatation device, but he eventually became unresponsive. The kayakers were able to grab the victim and keep him at the surface until the Logansport Fire Department arrived in a boat.

Logansport Fire Department transported him to the beach area where he was pronounced dead at the scene by the Cass County EMS. Initial Investigation determined the cliff is approximately 63' from the surface of the water.

For now, the incident is being investigated as a drowning, however an official cause of death will be determined by the Cass County Coroner’s Office.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending family notification.

‘till next time, Jack

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