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Trout and salmon news from Indiana DNR (fwd)

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 16:05:16 -0500
From: Steve Polston <steve_polston_at_dnrlan@ima.isd.state.in.us>
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
402 W. Washington St. W255 B
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2748

Randy Lange or Mark Cottingham, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 317/

Trout and salmon catch limits change

	On February 8, Indiana’s emergency catch and minimum size limits expire
for Lake Michigan trout and salmon. Lake Michigan regulations return to
the original “5-2 rule” where a fisherman may catch and keep five trout,
salmon or any combination, with only two fish being lake trout.
	In addition, the catch size limit for trout or salmon is 16-inch
minimum, an increase from the previous 10-inch minimum size limit on
Lake Michigan. A 10-inch catch size limit still exists for tributaries.
	The “5-2 rule” allows for fishermen to catch more of one trout and
salmon species than the 1995-96 regulations. In 1995 and 1996, the DNR
restricted catch limits to a “5-3-2 rule” where a fisherman could catch
five trout and salmon with only three fish of any one trout and salmon
species and only two lake trout.
	The more restrictive “5-3-2 rule” ensured that enough adult coho salmon
were available to provide adequate egg supplies for stocking programs.
In 1993 and 1994, below normal stocking of coho salmon by all Lake
Michigan states prompted the more restrictive rule to stabilize the coho
	Coho salmon survival in hatcheries rebounded in 1995 and 1996 after
eggs and fry were treated with thiamine, an essential vitamin. Hatchery
stockings returned to normal levels and the expectations for fishing
	Despite the dramatic turn around, fisheries biologists cautiously point
out that the long term fitness of thiamine-treated fish is unknown and
additional research is needed to understand how this vitamin influences
fish health.
	“The long term survival of coho salmon rescued by these treatments is
uncertain, but hatchery stocking stabilized during this period,”
explained Bill James, chief of fisheries for the DNR Division of Fish
and Wildlife. “We are hopeful the survival of treated fry continues, and
fishing opportunity for adult trout and salmon recovers.”
	Fisheries biologists believe fry mortality is related to changes in the
lake ecosystem. The 
intensity of early mortality in coho salmon is unpredictable from year
to year and is still considered to be a serious threat to fishing
opportunity. Even though research shows extremely high egg and fry
mortality levels on certain females, the cause for this health problem
remains unclear.


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