The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will introduce muskellunge, commonly called muskies, to the 1,350-acre reservoir late this fall. Muskies are popular sport fish native to Indiana, yet there are limited opportunities to fish for them in the central part of the state. Stocking muskie in Eagle Creek Reservoir is intended to provide anglers with a unique sport fishing opportunity while using the abundant population of gizzard shad.
In the most recent fish community survey of the lake, gizzard shad and other non-sport fish that muskie commonly prey upon accounted for 40 percent of the fish collected. When shad densities are high they can have a negative impact on the survival and growth of sport fish. Muskie diet studies have documented that muskie feed heavily on gizzard shad and seldom prey upon largemouth bass, bluegill or crappie.
Indiana muskie populations are dependent upon stocking. The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife currently stocks the species in 12 Indiana lakes. Eagle Creek Reservoir will be stocked at a rate of one fish per acre, which is less than the traditional five-fish-per-acre stocking rate in other Indiana muskie lakes.
The DNR will closely evaluate the survival and growth of stocked muskellunge and the entire fish community in coming years to assure that stocking muskellunge does not negatively impact other sport fish in the reservoir. Eagle Creek Reservoir will continue to be stocked annually with fingerling walleye at the rate of 100 fish per acre.
Eagle Creek Reservoir is operated and managed by Indy Parks.
Rhett Wisener, fisheries biologist, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Aaron Cole, assistant fisheries biologist, email@example.com. Both Wisener and Cole can be reached by phone at (765) 342-5527.