PORTAGE — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will release 70,000 young brown trout into Lake Michigan today at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.
The 3.5-inch fingerlings are expected to be released into Lake Michigan at 3 p.m. Central.
“Brown trout are a species that utilizes the near-shore forage and can tolerate warmer water temperatures,” said Brian Breidert, fisheries research biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “The protected area within the port will give the trout a chance to avoid predators prior to moving out to Lake Michigan.”
The brown trout are being brought from the Jake Wolf Hatchery in Topeka, Ill., as part of an ongoing cooperative effort between the natural resources departments of Indiana and Illinois to increase fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan.
“We began stocking brown trout with Illinois’ cooperation in 2002 at the request of our angling community after a review of our Lake Michigan program,” Breidert said. “This stocking at the Port will be the third time we have released there.”
Previous Port stockings were in 2008 and 2009. Other stocking locations in the past 11 years have been Michigan City (four times), Whiting (three), and Buffington Harbor near Gary (once).
The fish released will grow to a harvestable size of 14 to 20 inches in approximately two to three years, Breidert said.
The start time is subject to change.