For the first time, Indiana will stock coho in the St. Joe River at South Bend later this month. St. Joseph River in South Bend to be stocked with coho salmon
Indiana DNR will be stocking approximately 11,000 coho salmon into the St. Joseph River near Veterans Memorial Park in South Bend in late November.
The coho salmon will be the first produced and stocked into the St. Joseph River by Indiana since the trout and salmon stocking program began on the river in 1984. These fish will be approximately 6 inches in length and will out-migrate to Lake Michigan after a short time in the river.
Brian Breidert, Indiana’s Lake Michigan biologist said he is pleased to add this species to the St. Joe program.
“I feel we will see benefits to the river anglers beginning a couple of years down the road, but we will also see some benefit to our Lake Michigan anglers as early as the spring of 2012, since coho salmon congregate each spring in southern Lake Michigan.”
The fish are part of a small surplus that was recognized after the completion of stocking into Trail Creek and the Little Calumet River, where 242,000 coho salmon were stocked from Bodine and Mixsawbah State Fish Hatchery.
Breidert said the Lake Michigan stocking team has been looking at adding coho to the St. Joe program since early spring.
“Plans are underway to add this species to our suite of stockings into the future,” he said. “We have received support from local sport fishing groups such as the Michiana Steelheaders, Hoosier Coho Club as well as the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders just to name a few.
“There has been a decline in the past few years of our steelhead returns and the management team has been looking at reasons behind the declines but also looking toward another species to supplement our steelhead program while still maintaining our important Skamania brood stock program on the St. Joseph River.”