The Delicate Job Of Managing a Minnesota Delicacy
Carol McCarthy | Apr 25, 2018 AT 11:50 am
DETROIT LAKES, MN--As anglers are itching to hit the open water for the fishing opener a couple weekends away, another behind-the-scenes season important to walleye anglers is underway in Becker County. As walleye begin spawning in April when the water temperatures approach 40 to 45 degrees, staff working with the DNR Fish Hatchery begin to collect then combine the eggs and milt from the walleye spawning where the Pelican River enters Lake Sallie.
The DNR says spawning usually lasts one to two weeks. In a typical day, 10 - 40 quarts of eggs are collected. Each quart contains approximately 120,000 eggs. The fertilized eggs are transported to the hatchery and hatch in three weeks.
Fry are stocked in area lakes or rearing ponds. Fry in rearing ponds are raised to fingerling stage (approximately 4 - 6 inches long); then are stocked in area lakes in September and October.
According to DNR statistics, Minnesota has more walleye, walleye lakes, and walleye anglers than any other state. Each year, anglers harvest about 3.5 million walleye.
You may find more information on the Fish Hatchery on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website listed below.