Indiana Smallmouth Catch and Release

In Indiana, smallmouth catch and release rules have just changed.

With increasing frequency, state game commissions are aggressively pursuing catch and release and size restrictions on keeping bass for harvest. This is in response to, in many states, increased fishing pressure and the thought that fishermen are having negative effects on smallmouth bass populations. In Indiana, here are the new rules:

Indiana smallmouth catch and release

Rule changes adopted earlier this year to provide increased protection for black bass in certain rivers and streams will become effective on Friday (May 25).

With a few exceptions, a person catching black bass (smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass) from a river or stream may keep only those fish that are under 12 inches or over 15 inches long. The daily bag limit for black bass is five fish singly or in aggregate, which means the catch limit may include any combination of the three bass species. No more than two can be over 15 inches.

The exceptions are:

-Rivers and streams in counties bordering the Ohio River still have a 12-inch minimum size limit, with an aggregate bag limit of five black bass. Those counties are Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Ohio, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Switzerland, Vanderburgh and Warrick.

–The Blue River in Crawford, Harrison and Washington counties still has a 12- to 15-inch slot limit and an aggregate bag limit of five black bass, with no more than two being more than 15 inches.

–The minimum size limit on the Ohio River main stem (not bays and tributaries) remains at 12 inches for black bass, with a daily bag limit of six. Source

Do you think these new rules for Indiana smallmouth catch and release are helpful or do you think they are bogus? What has more of an effect on the fish, environmental contamination or fishermen?

Discuss it here!


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