As part of the WDNR's walleye initiative, 5438 walleye fingerlings were stocked with an average length of 7” inches.
The Fish Committee purchased and stocked 3200 Perch from Silver Moon Springs with an average length of 6-8 inches at a cost of $4960.00.
Inland lakes district fish committee oversaw the planting of an estimated 2500 perch into our waters on Saturday, May 12th.
Silver Moon Springs provided the perch that were planted in three separate locations, Water Lane Boat Ramp, Horn Lake Boat Ramp and at then end of Bass Point Lane. Inland Lakes board members Mike Rasmussen and Al Benson along with fish committee member John Mitchell oversaw the distribution. The planted perch ranged in size from 6” to 8”, with a few larger than 8” noticed in the mix!
Funds to plant these perch were provided from the fish committee account, which are used solely for the stocking, heath and habitat of our fishery. No Inland Lake District funds are used. The monies raised by the fish committee are through raffles and fund raisers throughout the year with our primary event held at the Sunset Bar and Grill’s Corn Roast each fall.
Thanks to all of you who attend or donate to these events, which will help to continue to enrich the fishing experiences on our 5 lake chain.
This past fall, the DNR approved the planting of 2500 perch. These would be spread into at least 4 areas of our waters - Horn Lake, Little Horn, and the upper and lower Reservoir. We were prepared to stock the perch in December but Silver Moon was not happy with the counts or quality of the Perch they had. We are therefore putting off planting until spring of this year. Chip Long, our DNR contact, will be putting together some ideas on improving our fish habitat.
According to Chip Long from the DNR, 12 fyke nets were set on April 23 and checked daily through April 30.
The maps below show the location of these nets:
The electrofishing survey was completed on June 2nd. Four miles of shoreline were surveyed and electrofished. Electrofishing was started at 9:15 p.m. and completed by 1:30 a.m. This is done along the shoreline in shallow water. All the fish seen are netted during the first ½ mile. Then for the next 1 ½ mile only game fish (bass, walleye, pike) are collected. Each individual fish is measured to the nearest 0.1 inch. Scales and/or spines for age and growth are collected for analysis. Five samples are taken per ½ inch group. For example, 5 scale samples of bluegills between 4.0 and 4.4 inches are taken; 5 scale samples of bluegills between 4.5 and 4.9 inches are taken. This is done for the dominant panfish and gamefish species so age and growth can be assessed. The results are then compared to the last survey and other lakes in the region to tell if fish are growing faster, slower or similar to previous years/other lakes.
They also keep about 8 black crappie and largemouth bass to be analyzed for contaminants such as mercury and PCB’s. Whenever they are sampling, the DNR generally takes a sample to update statewide consumption advisories.
The full report, including age and growth data will be completed this winter/next spring. Overall, the DNR collected good numbers of bluegill, black crappie and largemouth bass. The largest bluegill was over 9.5 inches; largest crappie was over 13.0 inches and the largest bass was over 20.0 inches. Although most walleye were between 18 and 23 inches, 10 walleye over 25 inches were collected. A fair number of pike were collected but most were in the low to mid 20-inch range. In addition, a lot of rock bass and pumpkinseed sunfish were collected along with a few yellow perch, hybrid sunfish (bluegill/pumpkinseed cross), golden shiners and bullheads.
DNR Fish Planting (no cost to the district), spread throughout entire lake district waters:
Spring, 2013 - 30,000 Northern fingerlings
September, 2013 - 1860 walleyes (6-8 inches)
October, 2013 - 3600 walleyes (6-8 inches)
Fisheries Committee Plantings:
10/31/13 - 2000 perch (5-7 inches), cost of $2500
11/2/13 - 2500 crappies (6-8 inches), cost of $4125
11/20/13 - 4700 bluegills (5-7 inches), cost of $6580
The Fisheries Committee plantings were purchased using funds that were raised at the Sunset Bar & Grill's Corn Roast raffles over the past years, as well as individual donations from district members.
On Tuesday Chip Long from the DNR shocked about 1.5 miles of shoreline for about 1 hour. It was windy and partly sunny so visibility wasn’t the greatest but below is a brief summary of what we collected.
Hybrid sunfish (bluegill X pumpkinseed) – 8 fish (5.2 – 8.0 inches)
Bluegill – 16 (3.7 – 7.4) Pumpkinseed – 19 (3.5 – 6.4)
Black crappie – 5 (5.2 – 8.5)
Yellow perch – 3 (6.3 – 7.3)
Largemouth bass – 7 (1.0 – 16.3)
Needless to say the drawdown didn’t diminish fish populations to the degree we anticipated, which is a good thing. I think we all prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. And overall, I think we came out pretty well.
Due to these findings and anecdotal fishing reports, we will be on the fast track to recovering the fishery. However, I don’t think we’ll need to stock as many panfish as we initially thought. In the coming weeks I’ll be working on a plan for restocking panfish in Reservoir Pond this fall.