Urban anglers will have more fishing opportunities this year thanks to a new program through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources called Go FishIN in the City.

With the help of local partners, the DNR will stock 5,000 catchable-size channel catfish in the spring and summer, spreading them throughout small lakes in urban areas. Selected lakes are located in city parks that are family friendly, well maintained, and have amenities.

“Many of the better fishing spots tend to be a considerable distance from where a lot of anglers live—in the larger cities,” said DNR fisheries chief Bill James. “Not everyone has the ability to travel long distances to get to a fishing spot, especially kids living in urban areas.”

Go FishIN in the City will debut with a dozen parks in nine Indiana communities: Avon, Carmel, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, New Albany, Terre Haute, and Hobart.

Among the beneficiaries of the new DNR program are places like Shoaff Park Pond in Fort Wayne, Krannert Lake in Indianapolis, and Kiwanis Lake in New Albany.

The catfish are being raised by inmates at Terre Haute’s Federal Correctional Complex as part of a partnership between the DNR and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Specific stocking dates are unknown but the first round of channel catfish will be delivered to Go FishIN in the City lakes during the week of April 15, just in time for the first 2013 Free Fishing Day on April 20, when Indiana’s adult residents do not need a license in order to fish but all other general fishing regulations apply. On all other days not designated a “Free Fishing Day” by the DNR, a fishing license is required and general fishing regulations apply.

“Fishing is a fun, wholesome, healthy outdoor activity that can be enjoyed alone or with family and friends,” James said.

Fisheries biologists will evaluate the success of the program by conducting angler surveys over the summer and fish sampling.

For more information about the Go FishIN in the City program, including information about the parks and fish stockings, visit dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/7508.htm.

Logo courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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