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DNR plans fish study at Lake Webster
Start Date: 3/31/2015
Event Description:
Prompted by concerns that fishing may be declining at one of northeast Indiana’s most popular fishing spots, DNR biologists will study the fish and fishing activity this year at Lake Webster in Kosciusko County.

Best-known for its muskie fishing, the 774-acre lake draws anglers from throughout the Midwest and supports several guide businesses. Guides say muskie catches have dropped in recent years, although last year was reportedly better.

“It’s been 10 years since we’ve taken a close look at Webster’s muskie fishery,” said Jed Pearson, DNR fisheries biologist. “It’s time to check it again.”

Pearson has overseen the Lake Webster muskie program since the late 1970s. He and his crew will set traps in the lake and nearby backwater area in April to estimate adult muskie numbers. They also will conduct a summer-long angler survey to monitor fishing effort and catches.

In June, Pearson will survey the entire fish community.

The results will be compared to previous surveys and will guide any management changes.

The DNR stocks about 3,800 muskie fingerlings in Lake Webster each year. They typically measure 8-10 inches long when released. The fingerlings come from eggs taken from adult muskies captured each spring at Webster. They are reared in state hatcheries.

Although the spring catch rate of muskies remains high, biologists have noted a decrease in young muskies.

“The percentage of muskies less than 36 inches long has dropped in half during the past 10 years,” Pearson said. “Last year we caught only one muskie less than 30 inches.”

Reasons for the decline are unknown. It is possible that adult muskies are preying on newly stocked muskies, especially if populations of other forage fish such as gizzard shad have declined. Other factors could be changes in hatchery production techniques and declines in habitat quality.

“We’ll have a much better idea of what’s happening after this year and make adjustments if needed,” Pearson said.

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
Contact Information:
Name: Jed Pearson
Phone: (260) 244-6805
Email: jpearson@dnr.IN.gov
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State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
Announcements
State calendar classification:
  • Agriculture & Environment
  • Tourism & Transportation
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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