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March 11, 2007



outdoors: skip hess

New rules protect bass


There are a couple of Indiana fishing regulation changes this year that are sure to get the attention of anglers who have never fished the state's streams for smallmouth and largemouth bass.


Many Hoosiers who fish for smallies often travel to big lakes in other states, such as Ohio and Minnesota, in hopes of catching a trophy 20-inch smallmouth bass.

The attention-getter for anglers who have ignored the local creeks and rivers is that the Indiana Department of Natural Resources this year put a 20-inch minimum size limit on bass caught in portions of Sugar Creek.

DNR folks say that Sugar Creek has an "excellent" smallmouth bass population that exhibits good growth rates. By protecting bass that are 20-inches and less, the DNR predicts that Sugar Creek has the potential to produce even bigger fish.

In addition to the size limit, there's also a new one-fish daily bag limit on Sugar Creek waters that flow through Tipton, Clinton, Boone, Parke and Montgomery counties.

Another popular fishing stretch of water is Blue River. This year, the DNR has imposed a bass slot limit in Crawford, Harrison and Washington counties.

Only bass smaller than 12 inches and larger than 15 inches may be kept. The new rule also affects the bag limit of five. No more than two bass may be 15 inches or longer.

The DNR says the slot limit rule is needed to thin out a large population of slow-growing small bass to improve the growth of the remaining bass.

To keep anglers from getting caught off-guard by a conservation officer enforcing special lake fishing regulations, the DNR has listed the lakes and their locations on page 49 of its 2007 Indiana Recreation and Fishing Guide.

The guide is free at sporting good stores and discount store outdoor departments

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