2013-09-05 / Outdoors

DNR stocks millions of walleye in 2013

LANSING – The Department of Natural Resources recently announced the totals from its annual walleye rearing pond harvest and stocking of walleye fingerlings. The DNR Fisheries Division stocked 4,160,502 walleye fingerlings in 120 water bodies located throughout Michigan this spring and summer.

Walleye ponds are a critical component of the DNR’s cool water fisheries management and have been used extensively since the mid-1970s. A total of 30 walleye ponds located throughout Michigan were used this year, and most rely heavily on the support of local sportsmen organizations. These organizations 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 and Wolf Lake state fish hatcheries. A few days after hatching, the larval walleyes are moved from the state fish hatcheries to walleye ponds. Walleye are reared in these ponds for 50 to 60 days, where they eat tiny aquatic animals called zooplankton. They are then harvested and stocked into public waters when they are 1.5 to 2 inches long. These fish will grow to legal size in four to five years.

Several of the DNR’s fisheries management units are still rearing walleye to be stocked this fall at an even larger size. Visit www.michigandnr.com/fishstock.

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