MICHIGAN – The DNR stocked just under 2.9 million walleye fingerlings in more than 75 bodies of water located throughout Michigan this spring and so far this summer.
Walleye ponds are a critical component of the DNR’s coolwater fisheries management and have been used extensively since the mid-1970s. Almost 20 walleye ponds located throughout Michigan were used this year, and some 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 were taken from adult walleye from the Muskegon River and Little Bay de Noc and hatched at Thompson, Wolf Lake and Platte River state fish hatcheries. A few days after hatching, the walleye were moved from the state fish hatcheries to local walleye ponds and reared for 50 to 60 days feeding on tiny aquatic animals called zooplankton. The fingerlings were then stocked in public waters when they reached 1.5 – 2 inches long. These fish will grow to legal size in three 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 fish production manager. “These annual efforts allow us to greatly enhance the world-class fishing opportunities available in Michigan.”
This year’s pond harvest was especially important due to the cancelation of the 2020 harvest because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To find out if walleye were stocked in your favorite fishing spot, visit the DNR’s fish stocking database at MichiganDNR.com/FishStock.
Learn more about how the DNR manages fisheries for current and future generations by visiting Michigan.gov/Fishing.