Walleyes stocked by science
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources uses science to decide which lakes to stock with walleyes. And while suggestions from cabin owners and fishermen are welcome, they don't carry a lot of weight when it comes to s...
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources uses science to decide which lakes to stock with walleyes.
And while suggestions from cabin owners and fishermen are welcome, they don't carry a lot of weight when it comes to stocking.
"It doesn't work that way," said Dave Friedl, the DNR's Detroit Lakes area fisheries manager.
Generally, walleyes are stocked in lakes that don't have natural reproduction. If a lake does have naturally reproducing walleyes, stocking is used to supplement the population.
"We look for lakes that have the characteristics to support walleye, lakes that don't have natural reproduction but have everything else," Friedl said. "That would include things like proper habitat and a good forage base. Frankly, in Minnesota there aren't many lakes that are excluded."
The DNR's Detroit Lakes offices manage about 60 lakes for walleyes in Becker, Mahnomen, Clay, Norman, Polk and Red Lake counties. Each lake has a management plan and an operational plan, based on fish surveys conducted every five years. If the lake's operational plan calls for walleye stocking, the DNR will put fish in the lake every two years.
The number of walleyes stocked in a lake varies. Height of Land Lake in Becker County, for example, received 3.19 million walleye fry in 2007.
"It doesn't ever appear to be enough, but we provide some pretty darn good fisheries," Friedl said. "This is Minnesota, where people want walleyes, and we do our best to provide them."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike McFeely at (701) 241-5580
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