Regulations for catching some Ohio River fish change

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has amended regulations for catching sauger, walleye, and saugeye on the Ohio River.

The new rule, which will take effect Jan. 19, permits a bag limit of six Sander species, the collective term for these fish, in aggregate per day, a possession limit of 12 Sander species in aggregate, and a minimum length limit of 14 inches. Previous regulations permitted the take of 10 Sander species in aggregate per day, a possession limit of 20 Sander species, and had no minimum length limit. This DNR emergency rule aligns Indiana regulations for the Ohio River with new Kentucky regulations.

Sauger is the most sought after sport fish of the Sander species on the Ohio, and is prized as excellent table fare. During the winter and early spring, sauger congregate downstream of dams and provide prime angling opportunities; however, high harvest rates anglers are experiencing are not allowing the sauger population to reach its full potential.

The Ohio River Fisheries Management Team (ORFMT) analyzed long-term survey data and recommended these regulations in 2019 in an effort to increase the size and age structure and therefore the quality of the Ohio River sauger fishery as a way to ensure the sauger population remains sustainable for future generations.