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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

(Provided by Michigan DNR)

Partners help Michigan stock more than 4 million walleyeThe Michigan DNR announced the totals from its annual walleye rearing pond harvest and stocking of walleye fingerlings. The DNR's Fisheries Division and tribal partners stocked nearly 4.7 million walleye fingerlings in more than 110 water bodies located throughout Michigan this spring and summer.

Walleye ponds are a critical component of the DNR's coolwater fisheries management and have been used extensively since the mid-1970s. More than 30 walleye ponds located throughout Michigan were used this year, and most rely heavily on the support of local sportsmen's organizations.
These groups assist with the ponds' finances and supply volunteers to help with fertilization, pond maintenance and fish harvest.

By Louie Stout

Indiana biologist Jamie Pejza shows off a Lake of Woods walleye netted during survey.The St. Joseph River isn’t the only burgeoning walleye fishery on South Bend’s doorstep.

Indiana biologists say a pretty good one continues to show promise at Lake of the Woods in Bremen.

Biologist Tom Bacula spent a few days last month sampling the lake’s walleye population with a netting project and came away pretty satisfied.

“I am pretty happy with the catch of 15- to 18-inch walleyes we saw,” said Bacula. “They looked very healthy and had great color. We didn’t get any of the giants I’ve heard anglers talk about, but some nice keeper fish.”

The DNR gang set fine mesh traps on sand bars in water 5 to 7 feet deep then checked them daily.

(Provided by Michigan DNR)

Biologists working shock boat capture walleyes for egg taking purposes.As many anglers know, much of Michigan’s inland-waters walleye fishery is supported by hatchery-raised fish. What many don’t know is that the source of those fish - the Muskegon River, below Croton Dam - is supported by hatchery-raised fish, too.

"There’s not a lot of natural reproduction in the system,” said Rich O’Neal, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist who oversees the Muskegon River watershed. “We’re getting very low production in the river. We’re not sure why, but we think water velocity or water temperature could have something to do with it. We know we get good natural reproduction further upstream.”

“There are 3 to 4 billion eggs laid here when they’re spawning, but we’re just not getting fry production.”

It took a stocking effort to rebuild the Muskegon River population after it collapsed in the 1960s. O’Neal said sea lamprey predation - the preying of one animal on another - on adult walleyes was part of the problem, but alewife predation on juveniles also was a factor. “We saw that all over the Great Lakes,” he said.

(Provided by Indiana DNR)

Anglers are wasting no time taking advantage of the early season walleye bite on several northern Indiana lakes.

The best reports are coming from Lake Maxinkuckee and Lake of the Woods in Marshall County, Winona Lake in Kosciusko County, Sylvan Lake in Noble County and Crooked Lake in Steuben County.

Fishing is best after sunset as walleye move into the shallows and attempt to spawn.

Although some natural reproduction occurs, the overall success is not enough to support these hatchery-dependent fisheries.

Most walleyes caught this time of year are males in 2 to 4 feet of water on windswept shorelines or shallow submerged islands. Suspended jerk baits work well, especially those with rattles. Extremely slow stop-and-start retrieves are effective, and most hits occur when the bait is not moving.

While most anglers are fishing from boats, those brave enough to put on a pair of waders are having some success at Lake Maxinkuckee and Winona Lake.

Walleye fishing tips and information on statewide walleye waters can be found at wildlife.IN.gov/3279.htm.