The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says that it stocked nearly 4.7 million walleye fingerlings in more than 110 bodies of water this year.
The Michigan DNR Fisheries Division and tribal partners stocked the walleye with help from local groups.
“The many local angling groups that join us in rearing and stocking walleye are extremely valuable,” said Ed Eisch, the DNR’s fish production manager. “These annual efforts allow us to greatly enhance the world-class fishing opportunities available in Michigan.”
These groups assist with the ponds’ finances and supply volunteers to help with fertilization, pond maintenance and fish harvest.
Eggs were taken from adult walleye from the Muskegon River and Little Bay De Noc, and then hatched at Thompson, Wolf Lake and Platte River state fish hatcheries.
A few days after hatching, the larval walleyes were moved from the hatcheries to local walleye ponds. More than 30 walleye ponds throughout Michigan were used this year, and most rely on support from local sportsmen’s organizations.
The fish were reared in the ponds for 50 to 60 days, and the fingerlings were harvested when they reached 1 1/2 to 2 inches long and were stocked in public waters.
The walleye will grow to legal size within four to five years.
Included in the 4.7 million fingerlings stocked were approximately 1 million fish reared by the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) and stocked in U.P. and northern Lower Peninsula waters.