Fishing The Tippecanoe

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On the Tippecanoe River
Twisting and turning for 225 miles throughout northern Indiana , the Tippecanoe River is considered by many as one of the more beautiful waterways in the nation. Although named after the Miami Indian word for buffalo fish, it is known as the "river of lakes" as it is fed by 88 natural lakes. It also houses various kinds of fish, mussels, birds and wildlife that require its clean streams and wooded shores for survival. 

Not only is the fishing good on the Tippecanoe, but so are the sights! The banks are lined with maple, pine, oak, and sycamore trees - which will soon be turning lovely shades of red, orange and yellow. The Tippe also hosts a multitude of wildlife including deer, red-headed woodpeckers and, if you're lucky, river otters. This peaceful river, with its natural beauty, certainly makes a perfect fishing spot.

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What You May Find on the End of your Line
The Tippecanoe River is well-known for its cool, clear waters making it a prime fishing spot in northern Indiana . According to the DNR, there is an abundance of fish found in the river. The Tippe is great for fishing northern pike, channel catfish and largemouth, smallmouth and rock bass.  Bluegill, hybrid striped bass, and walleye can also be found swimming around.

Unfortunately not all fish are safe for consumption. The amounts of PCB and mercury found in the species you fish will determine whether or not it should be consumed. Visit the Indiana Department of Health's Fish Consumption Advisory site to make sure you know it's safe to eat.

Why You Pay Those Taxes: Sport Fish Restoration
America's fish population has been declining for more than a hundred years now. According to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the nation has lost 20% of our fish and aquatic populations and currently 40% of the nation's native fish populations are in rapid decline. This problem was first recognized in 1871 when the U.S. Office of the Commission of Fisheries was created. The agency asked states to implement conservation efforts in order to protect the fish population but the programs - like closed seasons - could not be properly funded by state license fees alone.

The answer was the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program of 1950 which allowed an excise tax included in fishing-related purchases such as rods, reels and artificial bait. In 1984, the Wallop-Breaux amendment went in affect by extending the excise taxes to include almost all fishing tackle, taxes paid on fuel used by motorboats and fishing-related import duties. Thanks to the program, states are able to restore, conserve and enhance the nation's fish and wildlife resources and to provide anglers recreational area to fish from these resources. It is basically a "user pays, user benefits" program as all funds benefit recreational fishing and boating services.

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What The Nature Conservancy is Doing for the Tippecanoe
The Nature Conservancy considers the Tippecanoe River as one of the top ten rivers that must be preserved. Not only is it important to the community, but the number of endangered and threatened species that live there rely on it as well. In fact, four of the twelve state-endangered fish species can be found there. All four are darters and include the blue breast darter; gilt darter; spotted darter; and the Tippecanoe darter. The river also maintains 49 of the 57 mussel species it historically had such as slippershells and salamander mussels.

What You Need to Know

Check out the Indiana Department of Natural Resource's Fishing Guide and Regulations

Don't forget your license! Indiana Outdoor Online Licensing

Indiana Outfitters - information on our waterways and fishing outfitters

Wondering where to fish? No problem.

Weather Channel's Fishing Forecast

National Fish Habitat Action Plan