Kokomo — With rod and reel in hand, Steve Cooney waded into the fast-moving water on the Wildcat Creek, just west of the Kokomo Reservoir Dam near 400 East, in search of that big catch.
Not long after, he landed a nice walleye.
Fortunately for Cooney, the walleye here are safe to eat.
But that’s not the case with many waterways around Indiana as contaminates have made eating the fish a risky endeavor.
Asked if he was concerned with the eating restrictions, Cooney said “nope.”
“I’ll put some in the freezer for later and sometimes I just catch and release,” said Cooney.
“I come out here a couple times a week,” he said. “I live in Danville and work here during the week. [The water is] a little high right now, but it’s a really good time.”
While most of the area reservoirs are classified as group 1, which means there is no recommended consumption limit, there are other areas in which any fish caught should not be consumed.
Every year the Indiana Department of Natural Resources issues a Fish Consumption Advisory to inform anglers where it’s safe to eat the fish.
The warnings didn’t deter Michael Burton or Bryan Bowley, as they fished the waters below the dam.
“We caught a couple of small bluegills so far,” said Burton.
“We come out here once or twice a week — it’s fun.”
“The only thing I usually eat is crappie,” said Bowley. “I like the taste of crappie.”
Local angler John Martino said while people should pay attention to the warnings, there is still good fishing along the Wildcat Creek.
“Sure there are certain areas high in contaminants, like a major portion of our Wildcat Creek where no fish should be eaten,” Martino said.
“But, in areas where fish are safe to eat, it is good for the lake or stream to have some of their residents removed.”