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Warsaw’s Pike Lake gets more walleyes
Start Date: 6/16/2015
Event Description:
The DNR stocked 12,750 walleye fingerlings in Pike Lake on June 9 to maintain walleye fishing opportunities in the 228-acre natural lake in Kosciusko County

The walleyes measured about 1.25 inches long and were reared at the Fawn River State Fish Hatchery in Orland.

The stocking marks the 20th consecutive year that the DNR has released walleyes into the lake.

“Pike Lake has been one of our most successful and least expensive walleye stocking sites, so we want to keep it going,” said Jed Pearson, DNR fisheries biologist.

If stocking ceased, Pearson said the walleye population would disappear due to a lack of spawning habitat and from predation by other fish on walleye eggs or newly hatched fry.

“We are able to overcome these limitations by holding walleyes long enough in the hatchery for them to grow bigger and escape predators,” Pearson said.

Previous stockings of tiny walleye fry less than a half-inch long were unsuccessful in the 1980s at Pike Lake and were abandoned. Since 1996, the larger fingerlings have fared much better.

Last fall, Pearson captured 12 walleyes from the 2014 stocking in one hour of sampling with a shocker boat. The current standard for success is a catch rate of seven young-of-the-year walleyes per hour.

Twenty-nine age-1 walleyes stocked as fingerlings in 2013 and 19 older walleyes were also caught during the sampling.

“We occasionally check on the status of our walleye stockings and make adjustments where necessary,” Pearson said. “Based on what we found at Pike Lake, no stocking changes are needed.”

Had the walleye catches not met the success criteria, the stockings would likely have ended.

At 10 cents each, the cost of stocking small fingerlings at Pike Lake is $1,200 per year.

“Economic considerations play a role in our walleye stocking program,” Pearson said. “Based on these figures, stocking walleyes in Pike Lake is a bargain.”

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
Contact Information:
Name: Jed Pearson
Phone: (260) 244-6805
Email: jpearson@dnr.IN.gov
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