Viewpoint: Want more walleye in Wisconsin lakes? We need your input
We are a research team from the University of Madison, and we are looking for public input on an experiment we are planning in northern Wisconsin.
Walleye are a popular species for many Wisconsin anglers. Many lakes contain healthy numbers of walleye with good reproduction, but walleye populations are declining in some Wisconsin lakes. Attempts to improve walleye populations have included habitat work, stocking and regulation changes with various combinations of each. These efforts have helped improve populations in some lakes, but we’ve found no “cure-all” solution to improving all walleye populations. We are proposing to conduct an experiment that would attempt to improve walleye numbers – full-scale reduction of bass and sunfish species.
It is thought that large numbers of bass and sunfish can make it difficult for walleye populations to thrive. In the last 30 years, we’ve noticed that some lakes have changed from walleye – dominated lakes to largemouth bass dominated lakes with very high numbers of small-sized sunfish. We are proposing to remove a large number of bass and sunfish (rock bass, pumpkinseed, crappies, and bluegills) from one lake to see if these fish are reducing the number of young walleye surviving to enter the fishery.
The main goal of the experiment would be to: 1) reduce the numbers of largemouth bass and sunfish, 2) improve walleye spawning and survival, and 3) ultimately increase the numbers of adult walleye in the selected lake. This experiment would be done on only one lake, and would be conducted to understand bass and sunfish influences on walleye survival and reproduction. We are considering two lakes in Oneida County: East Horsehead Lake and Muskellunge Lake. For more information on this experiment, you can see the fact sheet at tinyurl.com/sunfish-removal, which includes the list of all lakes we are considering. We are now looking for public feedback on choosing which lake to do this experiment on.
We will be holding a public meeting in Minocqua from 6:30 – 8 p.m., Monday, Jan. 30 at the Minocqua Public Library. You can also send comments to Tyler Tunney (firstname.lastname@example.org), Eric Pedersen (email@example.com), or the project leader, Steve Carpenter (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail comments to:
Center for Limnology, 680 N Park St.
Madison, WI 53706.
Eric Pedersen, Madison
Tyler Tunney, Madison