Jump to content

Walleye Reproduction Success?


Recommended Posts

I was wondering if anyone had heard/read how successful the walleye spawning runs were in the creeks/rivers that run into BSL or Norfork. I'm sure the Arkansas/Missouri Fisheries Biologist have some sort of a SWAG at the numbers.

How large are the wallete when they are stocked? If the walleye are 8 inches long when stocked, people catchig fish less than 8 inches would be a storng indication that we have some natural supplementation of the stockings being done by MO and AR.

The stocking programs by Missouri and Arkansas certainly seem to be working well though.

I'm having a lot of fun stumbling across walleye while bass and crappie fishing.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know much but I did see them stocking walleye one day. The fish were about 1" long and you couldn't even identify them as walleye.

I also talked to a creel guy one day and he told me that 1 out of 4 walleye that he checked were born in the lake and 3 of 4 were stockers. He never told me how he could tell though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's good intell Dutch. I had NO idea they were that small when they were stocked. I think they grow fairly rapidly. I did some more looking on Bing and actually came up with some good information. I will cut and past some of that when I get a little more time.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ham the MDC shocks up walleye in the upper end below Powersite and strips the of eggs and melt. I've never heard any figures about natural reproduction, but the population wasn't that great before stocking and it seemed that most of the spring run was at Powersite. That run goes way, way back.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know they also stock from hatcheries and brood ponds.

I wonder if some of those fish haven't figured out they can make runs up Beaver, Shoal, Big, Theodosia arm, and Spring creek which during wet years have decent flow over the substrate they need.

I read that the spawn in Norfork (NFOW/Bryant) has significant success.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw one caught under the 160 bridge on Beaver and it had to make an effort to come upstream. However that was the only time I've heard of one caught there, not that that is evidence of anything, but there doesn't seem to be any scuttlebutt about them like there is at powersite.

I'm not a fan of the Walleye stocking, they've always been here, parts of Missouri, but there has never been a crowd chasing them.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lifted this from an old post on Lake Stockdon.com

Ken, I would like to know the location where walleyes are put into Bull

Shoals Lake. Have you done a tracking study to see how far these

walleyes move from the location where they are initially put into the


It also seems Norfork lake gets almost as many walleyes as Bull Shoals

with half the water area.

Was there a reason Arkansas put no walleyes into Bull Shoals during the

years 1999 thur 2002?

Do you know what the average growth rate for walleyes in both lakes?

Thanks again,



Some years a hatchery crop fails so few walleye are produced. I ask for

walleye every year. The MO Department usually comes thru too and

walleye naturally spawn in the lake so Bull Shoals would be one of the

first lakes chopped off the list if we had too few fish to meet all the

obligations. Norfork is a more fertile lake and can take heavier

stocking but mainly we have to consider the capacity of our hatchery

system to produce fingerlings in our requests. Norfork is stocked from

the nursery pond so is unaffected by hatchery production except in those years when its crop fails but can be rescued by excess hatchery

production like last year. Because the nursery pond is 7 acres when

full, in a good year we can produce about 120-150,000 fingerlings based

upon what a good year on a hatchery would produce (hatchery fish are

counted when put on the truck - nursery pond fish are drained into the

lake without handling). Since the new Bull Shoals nursery pond at Lead

Hill is nearing completion and will be used for walleye every third

year, that will increase our future stocking. Hatchery walleye are

usually stocked in at least 3 boat ramps which change each year in order to distribute them around the lake. We usually have no way of actually tracking them but one year on Norfork walleye we held extra late

(early August instead of mid June) on the hatchery and marked with

magnetic metal tags. Some were stocked at the Quarry Park ramp one week before our annual rotenone sample in the upper end of Shoal Creek. In that sample we collected several tagged walleye and they had moved about 3 miles in one week. Another year we marked all 60,000 fingerling walleye with the magnetic tags (to not complicate the study the AG&FC stocked no walleye that year) which were then stocked at Tecumseh in MO.

When those fish got big enough to collect during their spawning run, we

actually caught a few of them near the dam though most tagged fish were

caught in MO. FYI, those stocked fish made up 36% of that year class-

that is walleye the same age - so we learned two things. First, natural

spawning is important and stocked fish do survive to contribute to the


Ken E. Shirley

Oops - forgot the growth rate. Walleye will generally be about 10-11

inches by the spring after they are spawned then 14-15" the next spring.

The next year we start to see them in the spawning run with males at

about 18 inches then 19-21" the next year. After that they start to

disappear in a hurry with few males reaching 23". Females grow much

larger and will be about 20" in their first spawning run when they are

three years old and eventually reaching 25-28".


1997 ----- 803,000 AGFC & MDC combined

1998 ----- 375,100 AGFC & MDC combined

1999 ----- 225,189 MDC only

2000 ----- 386,057 MDC only

2001 ----- 311,761 MDC only

2002 ----- 265,200 MDC only

2003 ----- 319,161 AGFC

43,766 MDC

2004 ----- 217,005 AGFC

244,250 MDC

2005 ----- 63,985 AGFC

224,718 MDC

2006 ----- 215,185 AGFC

159,707 MDC


1997 ----- 0 AGFC


1998 ----- 60,000 AGFC

220,000 MDC

1999 ----- 150,000 AGFC

150,880 MDC

2000 ----- 100,000 AGFC

159,379 MDC

2001 ----- 120,000 AGFC

245,784 MDC

2002 ----- 30,000 AGFC

242,160 MDC

2003 ----- 30,000 AGFC

221,150 MDC

2004 ----- 186,200 AGFC

189,250 MDC

2005 ----- 100,000 AGFC

221,000 MDC

2006 ----- 116,348 AGFC

221,845 MDC

Wayne, I went back in time and re-read your post about walleye stocking vs striper stocking on BSL. I can see your point to an extent. I'm not sure there is a great economic return on the investment, but I sure am having fun with the walleye this year.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back a few years, A.J. Pratt spoke more then once at our walleye groups meetings. If I remember correctly, they sometimes stock "fry" and sometimes "fingerlings". The fingerlings were quite a bit larger then then fry. I think what Dutch is referring to are fry. Basically just tiny minnows. Fingerlings have a better chance of survival, but they take longer and cost most to raise (obviously) then fry.... It came down to timing, money, what lake needed how many, etc..etc...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So reading between the lines from various sources, 25-50% of the fish we catch are natural spawn. Regardless, the programs are working because BSL is thick with them.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.