At one-time, native stocks of lake trout thrived in Lake Michigan. But today’s prized Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead and brown trout were nowhere to be found in this Great Lake’s waters, according to a publication by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. By the 1950s, the lake trout were almost eliminated by the predatory sea lamprey, coupled with intensive commercial fishing in the 1940s and ‘50s.
In the 1960s, a rehabilitation program began to eliminate the parasites, restock lake trout, and introduce Coho, Chinook, steelhead and brown trout. The experiment took, and the Indiana DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking salmon and trout along northwest Indiana’s shoreline ever since, the publication says. Best of all, the fish have adapted well and are now an important part of the overall fish community in our region.
You can celebrate this fishing history with the Hoosier Coho Club Fishing Tournaments, beginning later this month. Compete for cash prizes of up to $2,500 for amateurs and $12,000 for pros reeling in Lake Michigan’s bounty – Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, and brown and lake trout. The public is invited to come to the weigh-ins and to participate in the raffles for great prizes. It all begins April 27-May 4 with the Coho Capital Derby, sponsored by the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Pro Am on April 28. From May 4-6, the Horizon Bank 44th Annual Coho Classic includes the Hartman Memorial and Hoosier Classic Tournament, plus the Classic 2nd Day Shootout. For more information and registration, go to www.hoosiercohoclub.org/