MADISON, Wis. (WXPR) -- The DNR is out with a list of lakes to be stocked with walleyes from the upgraded walleye stocking program.
Last year, the state funded the Walleye Initiative, designed to breed larger walleye fingerlings. The larger fish are believed to have a higher survivability rate than smaller fish.
DNR northern fisheries supervisor Steve Avelallemant says the public provided input on what bodies of water needed more stocking. The state reviewed the input and now has a listing. "We used that strategy, which has a whole bunch of criteria for prioritizing which lakes ought to get fish, the first one, the highest priority are lakes we are trying to rehabilitate, if you will. They had good natural reproduction of walleyes and we're trying to bring it back."
Avelallemant says last year was a scramble for the DNR to get the fish up to size and stock. This year they've had more time and input to put together a better long-range strategy. Six to eight inch fish will be stocked in 275 lakes statewide, about 140 different lakes each year. State, private and tribal hatcheries are expected to produce about threequarters of a million larger fingerlings.
He says one of the problems in the past was finding enough pond space and money. "A big part of the money expenditure in getting them to that size is feeding them live forage principally live minnows, and those are pretty costly to obtain."
Links to a report on the Walleye Initiative, a list of all waters proposed for stocking this year and next, as well of a sampling of more than 200 naturally reproducing walleye waters may be found on the DNR website under Walleye Initiative.