The Fish of Our Rivers
The three rivers of Fort Wayne may be known to inhabit many Carp, but some anglers have been surprised by their catch. Common Carp are not native to the Unites States as they were imported from Europe for food, but Americans never acquired a taste for them. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including polluted waters. They are easy to catch in eddy’s, or slow-moving water. If you hear a fish jump out of the water, it is most likely a carp as they are often observed splashing their backs out of the water.
In the St. Joseph River, anglers could find Sauger, Smallmouth Bass, and Carp. Probably the most intimidating out of these fish is the Sauger. Sauger have mottle shades of black, rust brown, and orange. Special spotting features include dark bands across the back and a spotted dorsal fin. They tolerate muddy water conditions because they can easily camouflage in these conditions. They are typically 1-2 lbs. Joe Armstrong from Fort Wayne Outfitters states, “Smallmouth Bass can be found along the shorelines of the St. Joseph river as far north as Leo-Cedarville and all the way downstream to the confluence of the three rivers.” In all three rivers, anglers may find Channel Catfish, Walleye, and Smallmouth Bass. Channel Catfish have an olive and brown to dark blue body with a deeply forked tail and largely curved anal fin. They can be found in the shallow waters and eddies of the rivers. They are most active in the evening hours. Walleye have a golden-brown body with a white belly, marble-like eyes, sharp teeth, and a spiny dorsal fin. They can be found in cold rivers near boulders, points, and humps.
If you are not familiar with fishing, I highly recommend taking a fishing class where you will not only know how to fish, but also the ethics of fishing and fish handling. You can register with Riverfront Fort Wayne or Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. You can find available classes at fortwayneparks.org.
By Andi Douthitt, Riverfront Fort Wayne Special Events Coordinator. Andi has been with Riverfront for a year and has focused on outdoor recreation programs, kids science programs, Dragon Boat Races, and Nevermore Murder Mystery.
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