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#498797 - 11/17/18 09:31 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2026
Loc: West Michigan
snipe, I'm curious, in northern mi there are larger lakes with what appears to be self-sustaining WE populations. One that I'm more family with is about 6 miles long and about 3 miles wild. IT is very deep, but the shore lines look just like any other lake, sandy, and calm. THe drop offs are pretty sudden and it goes very deep.

IF it is incredibly fussy for the conditions to be right and the eggs to hatch, how do the WE self sustain? I can't think of where in a big lake like that there would be enough current, waves or wind consistently to let the eggs hatch? I'm sure some areas get the prevailing winds, but there are plenty of calm weather conditions too.

I think there is one area where a stream flows into the lake, would that be the place where the WE are probably successfully spawning?

I did learn recently that the MI DEQ/DNR is putting about 20,000 stocked WE in every year.

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#498802 - 11/17/18 11:03 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 371
Loc: NW Kansas
Walleye are a native river species.. In most Lake/Res situations they resort to the most similar habitat to that of a river in-flow with sand/gravel/rock substrate, IF the proper river/in-flow situation is NOT present. The measure of flow, species present, etc., and variables we still don't understand are going to play a part.
We have a few Lakes here in KS that have a very small % of walleye reproduction in certain years where conditions are such that it works.
There are also a few lakes in central NE where this takes place to a very small degree.
In your example lake, if they are stocking 20,000 fish in that body size, I'm going to say those are fingerlings or possibly intermediates.. and doing so every year indicates to me there is little, if any natural recruitment.
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#498803 - 11/17/18 11:25 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Snipe]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1991
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Nagagami Lake in Ontario Canada is a walleye factory. My son lives up there an a co worker works at this lodge on that lake. He said he cleaned over 1000 walleye in the first three weeks up there.

Cheers Don.
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#498811 - 11/17/18 02:06 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 979
Loc: in the mountains
We are at 10,000' and have quite a bit of wind. I definitely do not want reproduction so if there is a chance I will probably pass. For years my buddy has been trying to talk me into putting some in.
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#498812 - 11/17/18 02:32 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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I have observed a very limited amount of successful walleye recruitment in a very few ponds as small as 0.75 acre. Rare, but it can happen when egg hatching is successful. When a few walleye eggs do hatch the slender fry/fingerlings have to endure lots of predation pressure to survive to adulthood. Anymore, I never say it won't happen.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/17/18 02:34 PM)
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#498821 - 11/18/18 12:26 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 371
Loc: NW Kansas
I agree with Mr. Cody on "never say never".. If a dozen survivors make that gap and survive all odds, those survivers will be more conditioned to the environment they were reared in. I can say in most conditions we have data on walleye above 4000ft elevation, they are not sexually mature until Y5. Doesn't mean they can't have an early female in year 4, but it's very rare. Males are generally sexually mature in Y2, it would be very, very rare to have a Y1 male with milt.
Our higher elevation I have data on (7830 & 6412)reveals a recruitment rate of about 78% less than 2 lakes at 2738 & 3150 All 4 of these are impoundments on the same river basin with very similar fertility. The growth rates are affected by many factors but I'll give you those in comparison. Year zero fall samples show an average of 146mm (about 5.75") on High alt res data. On the 2 lakes near 3000', Year zero fall nets show about 188mm ave, (just shy of 7.5").
1.5 yr olds show an ave of 201mm (Shy of 8") & 267mm (10.5"). about 30-40% of these Y2 walleye at 3000' lakes show up in spring nets on dam during spawn as fertile specimens, at around the 11' mark.
At the higher lakes, data shows an ave of Y2 Males being 241mm (9.5") with no record of spermatozoa present. In 2016 we had a 311mm (12.25") male full of milt. we filleted, took otolith and found it to be a 5y male which is mid-life at the higher elevation but near end of life at the 3000' range. Y3,4,5 males at 3000' range show an ave. of 342mm (13.5"), 394mm (15.5") and 436mm (just over 17").
Not sure any of this is helpful but if your pond/lake is at 10,000', I seriously doubt your growth rates would exceed those of the 2 lakes I listed. With that being said, I feel you'd have 4 years of fishing to safely cull/harvest/remove a good number of potential trouble makers. Some walleye in locations at lower levels/warmer climates, can produce walleye that are sexually mature in 2 years.
I would NEVER want to recommend a stocking that could cause later undesirable effects, so keep in mind this is test net data, not a hard factual rule. One fish I would look at that would potentially provide the same table fare and an increase in annual growth rate would be Saugeye. No recruitment would ever rear it's head with no walleye present. Female saugeye eggs are viable and can be fertilized by male walleye and "could" hatch. these fish revert back to parent stock very quickly, usually in 2 generations, but if no walleye are present, that is something you would never have to worry about.
Hope I didn't bore you to tears.
EDIT: I should also add the high elevation lakes are low recruitment situations, it's just not good percentage wise, for stockers or natural. i'm sure there are other factors in play that we are not aware of as well. I have zero data on Saugeye at altitude either, no idea how they would handle it.


Edited by Snipe (11/18/18 12:36 AM)
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#498898 - 11/22/18 11:37 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
19dave68 Offline


Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Jamestown, New York
Been a long time since I have been on, or posted. Have a 5/8 acre pond in western NY that has a 12 ft, and 17 ft hole. I have WE, BCP, YP, 3 CC, 7 KOI, various sunfish, FHM, GS, and a few white suckers.

I have had limited WE reproduction in the past. Not sure on the last 2 years with limited time to fish. More work on property than I can keep up with at times. At Mr. Cody`s suggestion I did add cobblestone 6"-8" on ice and it made little reefs. Saw small WE before this, but have 2 strong springs in pond, and a lot of wave action.

I have surprisingly not had any over population problems with BCP, or sunfish so WE, and YP doing a good job. Friend caught 3 14" YP, a 17" WE, and a 13" BCP while I did projects. I went out after him for an hour and nothing LOL! Wish I would have kept better records of sizes, and #`s of fish stocked.

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#498899 - 11/23/18 06:04 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: 19dave68]
john kelsey Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 143
Loc: mi.
What was the bottom of your pond like in the beginning?

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#498900 - 11/23/18 06:28 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
john kelsey Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 143
Loc: mi.
I am thinking of moving my wind generator back to my pond for a power source to run a pump. With storage batteries.

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#498905 - 11/23/18 08:31 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: john kelsey]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 979
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: john kelsey
I am thinking of moving my wind generator back to my pond for a power source to run a pump. With storage batteries.


This would be an extremely interesting project. Please post pics, etc if you do it!
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#498934 - 11/25/18 08:30 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: DonoBBD]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1784
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: DonoBBD
Nagagami Lake in Ontario Canada is a walleye factory. My son lives up there an a co worker works at this lodge on that lake. He said he cleaned over 1000 walleye in the first three weeks up there.

Cheers Don.


I checked the site & was impressed. Thanks!

My Ohio brother came back with beaucoup walleye fillets from a Lake Erie trip. Apparently the Erie WE have had three great annual spawns in a row and are doing awesome! My bride & I ate one of the fillets tonight & it was delicious.

PS Don't tell anybody, but I even heard rumors of 6 lb plus SMB...


Edited by anthropic (11/25/18 08:39 PM)
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#498975 - 11/26/18 08:04 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: john kelsey]
19dave68 Offline


Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Jamestown, New York
John bottom was blue clay, and gravel.

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#499040 - 11/28/18 07:38 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
john kelsey Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 143
Loc: mi.
That is same as mine. Did you build some kind of reef?

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#499197 - 12/02/18 04:36 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
19dave68 Offline


Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Jamestown, New York
Been away at cabin, no internet there. When we had thick ice I got a couple of tons of 8" or larger rock. Took a wheelbarrow and made several piles a couple feet high. In spring I used my underwater camera for ice fishing to check it out. When the stones fell thru the ice I had little reefs at least 18" high. I did have some reproduction before doing this. Not sure I`m currently having reproduction as haven`t had time to really check things out.

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#499199 - 12/02/18 05:42 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
john kelsey Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 143
Loc: mi.
Thank you for your information. Sounds promising.

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#500522 - 01/10/19 09:38 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Don Mulligan Offline


Registered: 01/10/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Indiana
New to this site. Spectacular! I recently acquired several lakes of varying sizes in southwest Indiana. The largest is a 50-acre gem that maxes out at 81 feet deep. Clear and already full of bass, panfish and catfish. I prefer walleyes, so I immediately stocked 200 5-7 inch fish. Afterwards, I spoke with the DNR fisheries biologist who said I should have only put in 1 per acre! That sounded crazy to me, but I guess I'm glad I couldn't afford the 2000 I wanted to put in. I find no forage there other than a very healthy panfish population and lots of invertebrates.

What are everyone's thoughts on additional stocking as well as growth rate for walleyes in clear water like this? Lots of wooded islands line the shore and several submerged grassy humps for cover. FYI, I also threw in 20 pounds of FHM and 70 10 inch smallmouth my supplier gave me cheap-ish at the end of the season.

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#500523 - 01/10/19 10:55 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12808
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I think 4 WE(walleye)/ac is acceptable especially since you stocked the 5"-7" sizes. The smaller stocker WE are,,, the lower their chances of survival due to early post stock predation from other larger fish until the WE become established. A 6" WE has to live a many months 24/7 before it is out of the prey size for a 16"-18" LMB.

An existing body of water is usually at normal carrying capacity, and without prior to stocking the removal some existing predators, the stocker fish have a hard time surviving due to the "full house" of current well adapted residents who have a large survival advantage over any 'newbees'. You will be very lucky if 1 WE/ac survives. Future angler catch per unit effort of WE will tell the rest of the story.

In existing water esp with mixed sizes of LMB, I always encourage stocker walleye to be closer to 8"-10" long for best chance of survival when LMB are present. An 8" WE is still not much bigger body cross section than a cigar; easy meals for 12"+ LMB and 18"+ CC. Next time you catch a 12" LMB look at its mouth size gape compared to the diameter of a cigar 5"-7"WE.

IMO the 10" SMB have a better chance of survival compared to the 5"-7" WE. It would have been better to remove around 50-100 LMB-CC prior to SMB-WE stocking. This would have helped a lot in food availability and predator pressure reduction. The 20 pounds of FHM were likely very quickly consumed by the residents while the newbees were becoming accustomed to the new 'digs' and trying to not become easy food. Large predators usually choose larger prey compared to prey smaller than optimum or preferred size. Your CC are efficient low light predators whereas LMB are efficient variable light predators while both are bottom oriented which is where the WE and SMB primarily inhabit. Interaction is important in who survives in the prey-predator behavior.

Angler catch surveys will reveal the survival success of your new fish.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/10/19 11:08 AM)
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#500524 - 01/10/19 11:28 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Don Mulligan Offline


Registered: 01/10/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Indiana
Thanks Bill. I was afraid I was throwing money away with the walleyes. I knew the FHM were going to be an expensive snack. I'll be interested to see if any walleyes show up in a year or two, for sure. Not that it will create a fishable population, but I may start catching legal walleyes (14 inches) at a state lake 5 miles away and transplanting them into my lake. But that will likely not amount to more than 10 or 15 a year. Walleye fishing is very limited here, and they are tough to consistently catch in numbers.

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#500525 - 01/10/19 11:51 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Don Mulligan]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1784
Loc: East Texas, USA
Don, have you done a survey of the fish population and relative weights? If you have skinny LMB, may want to harvest some.
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#500527 - 01/10/19 12:02 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Don Mulligan Offline


Registered: 01/10/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Indiana
Bill, Only a very non-scientific survey. I should have someone come in and do that professionally. These are unique lakes that were coal pits originally, but filled and established as lakes 70 years ago. Nearly 15 feet of clarity with a secchy disk. I caught a 7 pound LMB and some 3-5 pound fish last spring, but then not another bass over a pound or many small ones at all from June to October. The LMB I have seen are healthy, but these very deep, clear lakes provide lots of places for big fish to disappear most of the year.

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#500530 - 01/10/19 12:44 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5867
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
I think 4 WE(walleye)/ac is acceptable especially since you stocked the 5"-7" sizes. The smaller stocker WE are,,, the lower their chances of survival due to early post stock predation from other larger fish until the WE become established. ....


Why are such low WE stocking numbers/acre recommended? Is there a concern the WE will out compete the LMB for forage? I originally stocked 11 WE in my 1/2 acre which also has LMB and have had no issues that I know of. My current plan is to ladder stock 10 more 9+ inch this spring.
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#500536 - 01/10/19 06:48 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Don Mulligan]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1784
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: Don Mulligan
Bill, Only a very non-scientific survey. I should have someone come in and do that professionally. These are unique lakes that were coal pits originally, but filled and established as lakes 70 years ago. Nearly 15 feet of clarity with a secchy disk. I caught a 7 pound LMB and some 3-5 pound fish last spring, but then not another bass over a pound or many small ones at all from June to October. The LMB I have seen are healthy, but these very deep, clear lakes provide lots of places for big fish to disappear most of the year.


Don, I'm sure no expert, but it sounds like your larger LMB head deep down to the thermocline in summer. Night fishing might be an option, especially with your clear water. Also, perhaps you could create some structure that runs from, say, 15 feet up to 5 feet. Just a thought.
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#500537 - 01/10/19 07:52 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12808
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Lower stocking numbers of WE are historically used to imitate what are found in natural populations. This is not to say that stocking higher numbers of WE/ac is bad or not to be done. However in a mixed fish community I am not confident more WE that a few per acre will thrive in a existing mixed fish community especially when habitat is not optimum for WE and competition from larger fish is 'strong'. Abundant usable forage numbers allow WE to thrive and in a mixed fish community competition for small forage fish is 'strong'.

Also water clarity with secchi disk reading of 12ft-18ft in indicative of low productivity water which does not support a high poundage of predator fish; more in the range of 10-20 lbs per ac for infertile habitats.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/10/19 08:02 PM)
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#500538 - 01/10/19 08:24 PM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 371
Loc: NW Kansas
I agree with Bill. You can easily get to a point (very fast) where introducing another predator species will both inhibit growth of the walleye and just deplete the forage base so quickly, the existing population of Both Predator and Prey suffer. If conditions are right, a few could be introduced but generally speaking to make this work in your favor, it about requires a "restart" from the beginning. It needs to be planned for. Walleye can be used as a tool to manage certain species, but certain conditions would need to be present to benefit. My 2 cents..
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#500549 - 01/11/19 10:50 AM Re: Why not Walleye? [Re: Bill D.]
Don Mulligan Offline


Registered: 01/10/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Indiana
Anthropic, I agree with your assessment that larger fish retreat deep in the summer months. I hope to make habitat structures to sink in deeper water this winter for sure. I tried using weighted wacky rigs and senkos on some 60 foot drop-offs but struggled to get them past he 1 pound bass near the top.

And interesting take on the lower fertility of clear water. That's what I thought too, but the state biologist said the opposite. He said that the clear water allows deeper sunlight penetration and therefore more water with habitat and oxygen. It will be fun to determine it's fertility over the years.

I think the larger issue here is that this is a big lake with a lot of water. It is cost prohibitive to any major fix by myself without breaking the bank. I love all your input either way.

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