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Wolf Lake stocked with fresh walleye

Updated: December 3, 2012 6:48AM



Volunteers in pairs emptied large plastic barrels of walleye fingerlings on a white ramp, where they slid into Wolf Lake on the Indiana side Wednesday afternoon, in the annual walleye stocking by Perch America.

It was beautiful.

Bruce Caruso, organizer of the Perch America stocking for the last 14 years (others organized the first stocking in 1998), said the $6,000 raised paid for 4,300 5- to 7-inch advanced growth walleye fingerlings from Richmond Fisheries. The hatchery, as usual, threw in extras, and the walleye looked to average 7 to 9 inches, beauties that swam off well.

Even more beautiful is how the money was raised. Some came from an eclectic set of groups that stepped forward or Caruso convinced to pitch in: BP, Hammond Port Authority, Lake County Fish and Game, Calumet Harbor Sportfishing Club and Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet. As usual, a chunk came from donation jars set at Mik-Lurch and by Perch America at a couple winter outdoors shows.

To me, the real beauty is this citizen’s effort has carried on for so long. Usually such projects fade away after the initial blush of glory. This continues to give to local fishermen, year after year.

It helps that the authorities back it. The DNR set parameters for the stocking early on and has been supportive throughout. In recent years, because of VHS, the stocked fish needed to be cleared by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

Credit goes to Jennifer Strasser. She has been heroic: Taking time from her wedding details one year, time from maternity leave another and this year a last hour rush job earlier this week.

Caruso said, with this year’s stocking, it makes about 85,000 stocked in Wolf Lake in the past 15 years.

“My concern is getting the fish and getting them in the water,’’ said Caruso, a Local 150 operating engineer from Munster. “I would like to keep this thing going.’’

It’s beautiful.

Hunting notes: The big news is big bucks should begin the reckless ramblings of the rut this week.

Some fresh ducks came with the north gales off Sandy’s backside. At LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area, waterfowlers shot more mallards, a black duck, a gadwall, a pintail, scaup and a ringneck, a change from the wood ducks and teal early on. But harvest remains down as most of the bayous on the north side of the Kankakee River remain dry. There is other good news at LaSalle. With corn for the first time in five years, the corn blinds will be hunted, beginning Sunday.

At Willow Slough, waterfowlers have been killing 40 or 50 ducks a day. The site is holding a couple thousand ducks and more are mallards. The three blinds at the rookery were hunted first on Thursday and will be hunted every third day (Sunday, Wednesday, Nov. 10, etc.)

Fishing: Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said coho continue to enter Trail Creek and even some fresh steelhead. They passed 130 salmon and trout upstream Tuesday. ... By emergency rule, fishing is prohibited near the sea lamprey barrier on Trail. The rule prohibits taking or possessing fish within 100 feet upstream of the barrier and from the barrier downstream to the Pottawatomie Country Club Golf Course property line.

Places and faces: Mike Keck, of Torino Hunt Club, will speak to the Lake County Fish and Game (lakecountyfishandgame.org) meeting, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the clubhouse in Griffith, about Keck’s Marsh in Vandalia, Ill., and a donation of a two-man guided snow goose hunt in early 2013.

... “Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh’’ debuts at 8 p.m. Monday on WYIN (Merrillville).



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