Record walleye stocking
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel are finishing stocking a record 180 lakes across the state with nearly 12 million walleye fingerlings. Fisheries production and development supervisor Jerry Weigel said the number of lakes bested the previous high by nearly 30.
“There is record water across the state, so timing of a near record walleye production could not have come at a better time,” Weigel said. “Valley City and Garrison Dam national fish hatcheries contributed to make this happen. Both hatcheries have been outstanding in helping address our demand for walleye fingerlings.”
Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery set a record for the most pounds shipped of these 1- to 1.5-inch fingerlings, with more than 8,400 total pounds.
Given the record walleye production, coupled with a record number of lakes stocked resulted in a lot of driving time for fish haulers.
“Just in the first seven days of this year’s walleye production, haulers traveled more than 8,200 miles and stocked over 150 lakes with 7.6 million fish,” Weigel said.
Crews had near perfect conditions with most lakes at or near record water levels, with flooded vegetation for the young fish to hide and plenty of food for them to eat, which bodes well for future fishing opportunities. Later this fall, fisheries personal will sample walleye lakes to assess success of this year’s walleye stocking, as well as natural reproduction.
For a complete list of all fish stockings, visit the fishing link at the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov/fishing.