Walleye fingerlings are being freeze branded so their life cycle can be followed by DNR officials.
Hatchery raised walleyes are being marked by a fairly obvious circle in their mid-bodies with a non-lethal method known as ‘freeze branding’ in an effort to keep track of the fish long after they have been released into lakes and rivers of the Hawkeye State.
By using liquid nitrogen to super cool the tips of the branding device the fish are summarily marked with a ‘circle’ that will stay with them for life.
Check out how they did 61,000 fingerlings in just two days!
According to the video, “Anesthetized fish are touched to the branding tip, leaving a mark, but not harming the fish”
The DNR said that the walleyes will be stocked in Cedar, Shell Rock, Wapsipinicon, and Maquoketa Rivers. The DNR commented that “as a general rule, the DNR does not stock lakes less than 500 acres in size, as our hatcheries currently don’t have the production capacity to keep up with stocking demands for larger lakes, let alone smaller lakes.”
Cheers to the DNR and all the hardworking fisheries biologists and volunteers that keep fish stocking as one of the paramount priorities in the state!