Walleye gillnetting on Storm Lake was completed last week… and DNR fisheries biologist Ben Wallace says a record was set.
Wallace says the last night for walleye brood stock collection was last Tuesday night. Fish were held in the hatchery for a few more days, with the last of the eggs taken Thursday morning. Wallace says this gillnetting season for walleye on Storm Lake was “absolutely phenomenal”… “Our overall goal was to collect 1,773 quarts of eggs from all the brood stock lakes. Storm Lake and Clear Lake are considered satellite hatcheries, where we just take the eggs and ship them off to bigger hatcheries to incubate and hatch out.”
Wallace says more eggs were collected at Storm Lake than Clear Lake and Rathbun Lake combined… “We brought 2,639 different walleye through the hatchery. We actually caught more than that, but many were caught several times. The previous record for eggs taken from Storm Lake was 497 quarts taken in 1996. We’ve only had two years in the last 30 years of the Storm Lake hatchery operation that we even broke 400 quarts. This year we collected 631.5 quarts of eggs, so this is going to be a tough record to break.”
Wallace says throughout the state, the DNR has reached its quota of one-thousand-773 quarts of eggs, which works out to about 250-million eggs. They should have enough to stock over 150-million walleye around the state this year. He says those eggs will start hatching the last week in April… and the fry will get stocked within a few days of hatching.