The DNR announced that Mixsawbah State Fish Hatchery stocked 22,429 coho salmon averaging 8.02 inches into Trail Creek on Feb. 16.

The DNR says Coho salmon stocked this month will stay in the streams until this coming spring, when they will migrate to Lake Michigan. They will spend one to two years there feeding and maturing until they return to the streams where they were stocked for spawning.

This stocking is in addition to the 54,139 coho that were stocked this past October into the Little Calumet River and the 29,457 coho that were stocked into Trail Creek.

The DNR says anglers should take care when fishing these areas. These fish are currently under the legal-size limit and are sensitive to being caught. The DNR added that if you’re catching undersize coho, consider moving to a different area of the stream or try switching your method of fishing. These new fish are crucial to the continued existence of the northwest Indiana trout and salmon fishery, the DNR says.