LINCOLN, Neb. – Fisheries staff at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission again this spring will capture spawning walleyes to collect eggs to meet stocking requests.
Sherman Reservoir, Merritt Reservoir and Lake McConaughy have again been selected locations for this operation. The collection goal to meet 2018 walleye stocking requests is approximately 88 million eggs (700 quarts).
As of April 1, a designated area along the dam at Sherman is closed to bank anglers and boats following sunset. The collection at Sherman will begin the night of April 2. Anglers and boaters are asked to avoid Nebraska Game and Parks boats and nets.
Depending on the collection results at Sherman, crews will begin collections at Merritt on or before April 7 and at McConaughy during the week of April 16.
The netting of walleyes will continue until the egg quota has been met. Gill netting along the dam at night will capture female walleyes, while an electroshocking boat will collect males. Spawning operations will take place on the lake during the mornings and fertilized eggs will be transferred to Nebraska state fish hatcheries for hatching. All adult walleye are released back into the lake.
“With the cooler spring Nebraska is seeing this year, the collection lakes will be cooler as the netting starts,” said Jim Gleim, fish production manager for Game and Parks. “This may slow down the spawn initially and the spawning crews may be out a bit longer this year.”
Crews should finish work at Sherman by April 6, at Merritt by April 13 and at McConaughy by April 18, depending on netting success and weather.
Nebraska Game and Parks this year is scheduled to stock nearly 31.6 million walleye, ranging in size from fry to 8-inch advanced fingerlings, into public water bodies across the state.