FORT WAYNE – It’s a bounce-back year for walleye stocking in Indiana.
The DNR reported that walleye production at state fish hatcheries rebounded after a weather-related setback last year.
Every spring, DNR workers net adult walleyes at Brookville Lake in southeast Indiana, where eggs are collected from the fish and fertilized. The fish are released back into the lake, and the eggs are transported to Cikana State Fish Hatchery near Martinsville for incubation. Those fish then stock Indiana lakes throughout the year.
But unseasonably warm weather last spring resulted in one of the worst walleye egg collections on record, and the state was unable to meet some of its 2012 stocking goals, Cikana manager Dan Jessup said.
This year, however, the annual collection of walleye eggs was a success.
By 2016, the walleyes we stock this year will be well above the 14-inch size limit and providing some great walleye action, Jessup said in a statement.
Although native to Indiana, walleye were not abundant until annual stockings were developed in the 1970s. Indiana typically stocks about 22 million walleye fry that are 4 days old. An additional 1 million walleye fingerlings are stocked in June after being raised to 1 to 2 inches. Six- to 8-inch walleye are produced for stocking in the fall at lakes where fry or June fingerlings fail to establish a fishery.
While 2013 did not produce the highest number of adult walleyes we’ve ever collected, nor the most eggs, fish size and egg quality were excellent, Jessup said. All lakes that receive newly hatched fry have been stocked, and we are on target to grow enough 1-2 inch and 6-8 inch fingerlings to meet those stocking needs as well.
Area lakes stocked with walleye include Clear Lake and Crooked Lake in Steuben County, Pike Lake and Winona Lake in Kosciusko County, Pretty Lake and Wall Lake in LaGrange County and Sylvan Lake in Noble County.
A list of lakes stocked with walleye by the DNR is online at dnr.in.gov/fishwild/3279.htm.