Indiana DNR Collecting Steelhead Brood Stock

DNR hatchery staff have started collecting adult steelhead to supplement egg collection and rearing efforts scheduled for later this winter. This strain of steelhead, known as Skamania, begin their spawning migration during the summer months with peak movement in September. Adult fish, known as broodstock, are typically harvested through August at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sea lamprey barrier on Trail Creek in Michigan City. The barrier contains a trap that allows DNR staff to capture adult fish. During active migration, harvested adults are transported to Bodine State Fish Hatchery in Mishawaka. There, the fish are placed into a set of two 50-foot raceways. Collection continues until the goal of 700 fish is met, of which 450 will be females and 250 will be males.

Eggs are collected from early January through mid-February. This is known as the spawning season, and it will end when 1.2 million eggs are fertilized. This is enough eggs to satisfy the needs of Indiana and out-of-state requests from Illinois and Wisconsin.

Indiana-reared Skamania will be stocked into the St. Joseph River, Trail Creek, and the East Branch Little Calumet River. Released fish will imprint on the water they were placed in before migrating downstream to Lake Michigan. These fish will roam Lake Michigan for two to three years before returning to the waters in which they were stocked. For some of those returning to Trail Creek, the cycle will repeat.

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