Outdoors: Timing good for reopening of local tributaries
By Dale Bowman Post-Tribune correspondent June 14, 2012 10:58PM
Updated: July 16, 2012 6:43AM
South winds bode well for the return of skamania for the reopening Saturday of the closed sections of Lake Michigan tributaries.
“We have seen a few fish enter the streams,” Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert emailed. “With the north winds I think the water was too warm at the harbor mouths but (Thursday) we have some south wind so I expect a few more fish to make their way in. Last weekend we had some good steelhead fishing off the Michigan City pier. I suspect (Thursday) is a good day on the pier and with the streams opening on Saturday we should see more anglers out.”
From April 1 to June 15, parts of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River (U.S. Route 12 upstream to Route 20 in Porter County) and Trail Creek (Franklin Street Bridge in Michigan City upstream to U.S. 35 in LaPorte County) are closed to protect salmon and trout stockings.
Capt. Rich Sleziak of Triplecatch Charters said he has started seeing hopeful signs at the mouth of Burns Ditch.
“Some steelhead you can see are staging and playing,” he said. “You can get that feeling they are starting to stage up. Some guys took a few early in the week (before the north winds). I would not be surprised if somebody caught seven or eight on Saturday or Sunday.”
The Indiana DNR has an online map of public access for Trail at in.gov/dnr/fishwild.
Lake Michigan: Sleziak said coho continue to be great, when weather allows access, from Burns Ditch to East Chicago. “As long as they are in 65 to 100 feet, they will catch fish,” he said. Some steelhead and kings are mixed in. Best has been Dodgers (orange) and flies (just about any color) or spoons, regular and magnum, such as Super Slim Bumble Bee, Super Slim Riverside and Magnum Bumble Bee.
Perch: Perch fishing is spotty, but the south winds bring hope. “Guys have been getting out but the numbers and size are pretty limited,” Breidert said. “I am thinking this weekend,” Sleziak said. “It is trying to turn south. Something might happen here Saturday or Sunday.” He said reports vary from a few to none, but best comes from those working Burns Ditch to Porter Beach.
Inland fishing: Rivers are extremely low, both good and bad news for waders. ... Willow Slough can be a tough go with the weeds and low water, but those fighting through the weeds are catching good panfish. Site staff expect the heat to make for a good weekend. ... Sleziak, who has Slez’s Bait Shop in Lake Station, said customers are hitting Pine Lake and Potato Creek State Park for more bluegill now, but some crappie too. He said something is always going at Lake George and there’s an evening crappie bite at Three Rivers. ... Doris Salada at Country Bait in Valparaiso said bluegill are the top bite (b-moths, wigglers or small leeches) at Long and Rodgers-Lakewood. ... Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond said leeches are the top bait for those targeting walleye from shore or boat at Wolf Lake.
Places and faces: Scholarship winners for pursuing careers in conservation, given by the Porter County Conservation Club, were Bianca Martin of Washington Township High School and Bryan Breese of River Forest High School.
Wild things: Indiana Dunes State Park has “a special evening adventure in the woods” to watch Purdue scientists live catch insects. Meet at the Wilson Shelter at 8:30 p.m. ... Does anyone else think goslings and ducklings seem larger than normal for mid-June?