Fish Hatchery Report Details 24,000 Walleye Stocked in Area Lakes
By Joe Morey
In a letter to the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB), LCO Fish Hatchery Director, Paul Christel, reported they had a great year overall and came out with their best production ever.
“After wrapping up our production year, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how things went. With the new ponds functional, we had our best overall production ever this year. Extended growth walleye are categorized as averaging 6-8 inches. Our fish are usually on the larger side. For 2021, we came out well above the 6-inch threshold, with the size of our extended growth fish averaging 7.1 inches. Along with those fish, we were able to stock a considerable number of small fingerlings earlier in the year,” Christel’s report stated.
Christel went on to say he will continue to try and improve the efficiency and production of the hatchery as they become accustomed to the new (lined) ponds, which are a considerable adjustment from the old (earthen) ones.
LCO Conservation Director Brian Bisonette said since they received grant to build four new large ponds, an expansion from their previous three smaller ponds, they have the capability to stcok 50,000 to 55,000 walley fingerlings each year, up from 7,000 to 12,000. He stated each year they meet and reassess what funding will allow them to stock, based on costs, such as feeding the walleye.
According to Christel’s report, they stocked over 50,000 small 1.6” on average walleye fingerlings into the Chippewa Flowage in June. They stocked over 24,000 of the average 7.1” walleyes into other area lakes, including 14,000 of them into Big LCO, 740 into Ashegon Lake, 860 into Gurno Lake, 840 into Indian Lake, 1,840 into Birch Lake, 1,700 into Blueberry Lake, and 2,410 into Little LCO.
“Your ongoing interest and support of the hatchery operations is, as always, greatly appreciated,” Christel told the TGB.