Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

IN: Changes on using live gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and alewives as bait

Rule changes regarding the use of live gizzard shad, threadfin
shad and alewives as bait, and the size of cast nets used in
collecting such bait, take effect March 22.

The rules changes answer a request from striped bass anglers to
be able to use gizzard shad as bait in selected waters where
striped bass are prevalent and gizzard shad are present but
stipulate that gizzard shad cannot be moved from the waters in
which they were caught. Shad collected anywhere else will have to
be killed immediately upon capture. The intent is to prevent the
moving of shad to other waters.

Currently, live shad can be used only at Brookville Lake. This
dates back to when Brookville was Indiana’s only striped bass water
body. With the changes, gizzard shad can be collected from the
designated waters, possessed while on that water body, and used
only on that water body.

Use of live shad as bait has been restricted previously because of
concerns it would lead to establishment of shad populations in
lakes where the shad would compete with and harm existing sport
fisheries. Since then, the DNR has created new striped bass and
hybrid striped bass fisheries at several other places.

The changes also standardize cast net regulations statewide and
allow larger mesh for taking shad. The rule also allows use of the
look-alike smaller cousin of gizzard shad, the threadfin shad, at
these selected waters, and the collection and use of live alewives
as bait on Lake Michigan.

The rule changes are summarized as

– Live gizzard shad and threadfin shad may be collected, possessed
and used on the following waters only but may not be transported
away from these waters:

-Brookville Reservoir

-Cecil M. Harden Reservoir

-Monroe Reservoir

-Patoka Reservoir

-Lake Freeman

-Lake Shafer

-Hardy Lake

-Ohio River mainstem, excluding all embayments

– Any unused shad must be killed while at these water bodies.

– Live gizzard shad or threadfin shad collected at other water
bodies will need to be killed immediately upon capture and cannot
be possessed live.

– Live alewives may be collected, possessed and used on Lake
Michigan only, and may not be transported away from Lake Michigan.
Any unused alewives must be killed. A person must immediately kill
alewives collected from waters other than Lake Michigan.

– The maximum cast net diameter is increased to 20 feet for both
the Ohio River and the rest of the state. Mesh size remains at 3/4
inch stretch mesh for normal minnow/crayfish collection statewide.
However, cast nets used at the eight named live shad water bodies
listed above will be able to have a maximum mesh size of 2 inches
stretch mesh. Stretch mesh is the distance between two opposite
knots of a net mesh when the net is stretched tight. This will
allow for more practical use in collecting live gizzard shad,
threadfin shad or alewives, which school in open water.

The DNR website will be updated as the effective date


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