Monday, June 2, 2014


Ball State University and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources are currently tracking 40 juvenile muskies in Eagle Creek Reservoir using radio tags. The battery life of each radio tag is 257 days. IDNR Southern Fisheries Research Biologist Sandy Clark-Kolaks and myself surgically implanted the tags at East Fork State Fish Hatchery in March of 2014. The muskies were provided by the IDNR and were around 12 inches in length. The muskies were stocked on March 29 at the Marina in Eagle Creek Park. Tracking will take every week during the spring and summer months of 2014.

Stocking the tagged muskies into Eagle Creek Reservoir.
Muskie with a surgically implanted radio tag.

The muskies tracked during March and April were mainly located north of 56th Street. They were mostly found near submerged and floating logs in 1 to 3 feet of water. The muskies were found in group of 4 and 5 individuals throughout the northern half of the reservoir. The first individuals were not found south of 56th Street until the first week in April. During the week of April 7th the muskies were found all over the reservoir. They were found as far north as the I-65 bridge and as far south as the dam.

Floating logs where the muskies can be found.

However, during the week of April 14th only 16 of the 40 muskies were found. There was a large amount of storms that hit Indianapolis the previous week of tracking. The water level in the reservoir was so high that water was going over the dam. I believe that the missing muskies could have went into the nearby gravel pit, upstream Eagle Creek, or went over the dam into downstream Eagle Creek because of the increased water level. As tracking went on for the next 6 weeks, the number of muskies being regularly tracked decreased to the same 9 individuals. I tracked in the gravel pit only found one muskie. I then searched up stream in Eagle Creek and did not find any. This last week Sandy Clark-Kolaks and I only tracked 4 individuals. They were all found around brush and submerged logs. We were unable to track the muskies in the northern half of the reservoir because of a rowing competition. We also tracked below the dam to see if any went over but, the creek had little water in it and no muskies were found. The plan for this coming week is track where Eagle Creek flows into the White River.