The DNR will stock 200 channel catfish in Fort Wayne’s Lakeside Park for a free public fishing event on Saturday, May 18.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. DNR staff will offer short, instructional sessions on basic fishing equipment and techniques. The sessions will begin each hour at the fishing pier on the east pond.

The DNR will also provide free bait and have cane poles, casting rods and other tackle for beginners. Those who borrow equipment must register onsite. Staff will help those who need assistance while fishing.

The DNR will stock the 14-inch long catfish on May 16 in the east pond. The stocking is part of the DNR’s Go FishIN in the City, a statewide effort to promote fishing in Indiana’s urban areas.

The DNR will also stock 200 catfish on May 16 into Shoaff Park Pond on the city’s north side. Both ponds received 200 catfish last month.

Saturday is a statewide Free Fishing Day, meaning no fishing license is required for Indiana residents to fish that day.

“May 18 is one of four Free Fishing Days in Indiana,” said Tyler Delauder, DNR assistant fisheries biologist. “It is our way of encouraging everyone to learn to fish.”

Although Delauder expects some catfish to be caught Saturday, those that avoid capture should grow even larger and be available throughout the summer.

“We plan to do some sampling later this summer to check on catfish survival and growth,” Delauder said. “We are also conducting an angler survey to estimate how many catfish are caught.”

A third catfish stocking at both ponds is scheduled for early June.

For more information on Go FishIN in the City, visit

Logo courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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