By Louie Stout
The St. Joseph River walleye stocking program got another boost last month, thanks to the efforts of the Michiana Walleye Association (MWA) and the Indiana DNR.
Some 12,000 6- to 8-inch walleyes were stocked at Maggies Landing in Mishawaka. The fish were raised by Gollon Bait and Fish Farm in Wisconsin.
The DNR purchased 10,000 of those while the Michiana Walleye Club, which has been the driving force in Indiana’s St. Joseph River stocking since 1995, purchased the other 2,000.
The club pays for the fish through its fund-raisers held at the club grounds and donations it receives from individual anglers and businesses.
The walleyes are stocked every other year. According to Indiana DNR officials, the survival rate of those fish stocked is estimated to be around 34 percent.
Barry Ukele, a MWA founder and spearhead for the stocking program, said this year’s fish appeared to be in great shape and should contribute to the fishery in the years to come.
The St. Joe has become a viable walleye fishery since the mid-1990s. Catching big walleyes there can be tricky, but surveys show they are there.
Anglers who catch the young walleye over the upcoming months are urged to handle them with care and return them to the water quickly.
By Josh Lantz, Traditions Media
Walleyes are still largely following established summer patterns in most lakes and rivers come early September, which generally means deeper water. Anglers targeting ‘eyes should start their searches in all the likely areas, namely offshore humps, deep weed lines, mid-depth flats, and man-made cribs in lakes, and at the bottom of the deeper pools in rivers and streams. But they should also be prepared to search shallower whenever the conditions dictate.
A healthy, abundant walleye population is a big part of Michigan’s fisheries. These native fish provide exciting opportunities for world-class recreational fishing and play an important ecological role as a top predator.
Though several local, regional and Great Lakes-centric walleye plans exist, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has drafted the first statewide walleye plan focused on inland waters – and is asking the public’s help in finalizing it.
The draft version of the “Management Plan for Walleye in Michigan’s Inland Waters” is available for review and written comment through April 1. All comments should be sent via email to DNR-Walleye@Michigan.gov.
By Louie Stout
Sylvan and Winona lakes continue to reign as two of northern Indiana’s best walleye lakes while Dewart is showing promise as a lake to watch.
Indiana fisheries biologists spent some time last fall surveying walleye lakes that had been stocked to evaluate survival success of those young fish.
Here’s a snapshot at what they found:
Sylvan Lake (Noble County)
The 485-acre lake continues to produce good walleye fishing thanks to a consistent stocking program of 8.4 fish per acre.