June 17, 2010

Sakakawea walleye spawning operation complete

By Robyn Rohde, BHG News Service

When female walleyes’ biological clocks start ticking, fisheries biologists are not far behind. A quick burst of warmer temperatures in late April helped the annual process get started on Lake Sakakawea, but according to Missouri River System Fisheries Supervisor Dave Fryda, if the spawn is truly to be successful many things must fall into place at just the right time. The Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery received a record request for walleye fingerlings by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The state agency has asked for 10 million walleyes to be stocked in North Dakota waters this year; 12 million if possible. The hatcheries, both in Riverdale and Valley City, have never before produced that many walleye in a single season. The last time it was attempted was in 1994 and 1995, but the results were unrewarding. Fortunately, the first step in an unending process seems to have been a solid one as Fryda announced that egg collecting efforts went well.

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