(UNDATED) – Starting Dec. 17, it will be unlawful for anglers to take or possess the cisco species of fish, per IC 14-22-34-12, which protects state-endangered species.
The change is a result of action taken this fall by the Natural Resources Commission (NRC). Previously, this native fish was listed as a species of special concern.
Cisco (Coregonus artedi) is the only native fish from the salmon family found in Indiana waters other than Lake Michigan. It is a cold-water species that requires exceptional water quality to thrive. The glacial lakes of northern Indiana represent the southernmost extent of the species’ range in North America.
Failing Lake (Steuben County), Indiana Lake (Elkhart County), North Twin and South Twin lakes (LaGrange County), Lake Gage (Steuben County), Eve Lake (LaGrange County), and Crooked Lake (Noble/Whitley counties) are the only remaining Indiana lakes containing cisco.
The listing of cisco as state endangered will prioritize and incentivize conservation actions in areas near lakes containing cisco to protect existing water quality.
“The preservation of water quality at these lakes is vital because once degraded, water quality is costly and difficult to restore,” said Matthew Linn, fisheries research biologist.
Future cisco management will focus on collaborative efforts with regional partners to preserve cold-water habitat through the application of best management practices (BMPs) that reduce the quantity of nutrients entering the remaining lakes with cisco.
For more information on cisco in Indiana, visit wildlife.IN.gov/10438.htm.