Partners help DNR stock more than 4 million walleye this year
Published: Monday, August 18, 2014
The Department of Natural Resources today announced the totals from its annual walleye-rearing pond harvest and stocking of walleye fingerlings. The DNR Fisheries Division and tribal partners stocked more than 4.8 million walleye fingerlings in more than 90 water bodies located throughout Michigan this spring and summer.
Walleye ponds are a critical component of the DNR’s coolwater fisheries management and have been used extensively since the mid-1970s. More than 20 walleye ponds throughout Michigan were used this year and most rely heavily on the support of local sportsmen's organizations, which assist with the ponds’ finances and supply volunteers to help with fertilization, pond maintenance and fish harvest.
Eggs are taken from adult walleye from the Muskegon River and Little Bay De Noc. These eggs are hatched at Thompson, Wolf Lake and Platte River state fish hatcheries. A few days after hatching, the larval walleyes are moved from the state fish hatcheries to local walleye ponds. Walleye are reared for 50 to 60 days in these ponds, where they feed on tiny aquatic animals called zooplankton. The fingerlings are then harvested and stocked in public waters when they are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. These fish will grow to legal size in four to five years.
“The many local angling groups that join us in rearing and stocking walleye are extremely valuable,” said Ed Eisch, the DNR’s acting fish production manager. “These annual efforts allow us to greatly enhance the world-class fishing opportunities available in Michigan.”
To find out where walleye were stocked, visit the DNR’s fish-stocking database at www.michigandnr.com/fishstock.