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Walleye Status in Lake Superior

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					    Walleye Status
          in
    Lake Superior
      Stephen T. Schram
Wisconsin Department of Natural
          Resources
   Lake Superior Fish
  Community Objectives
  Maintain, enhance, and rehabilitate
self-sustaining populations of walleye
 and their habitat over their historical
                 range.
        Walleye Subcommittee
• Subcommittee formed - 1994
• Status Report - 1996
  – Described historic and current status
  – Identified current spawning rivers
• Rehabilitation Plan - 2001
  –   Objectives for rehabilitation
  –   Issues and strategies
  –   Routine assessment
  –   Research and assessment needs
      Known Walleye Spawning Areas
                            W   W
                        W
                                 W
                                     W
                    W                W
                W
               W
           W




                                           W W
                        W                    W
W              W            W W          W   W
 WW   WW
                                           W
                  Historical Harvest
      1000's of             U.S.   Canada
      Kilogams
160
140
120
100
 80
 60
 40
 20
  0
   70
   80
   90
   00
   10
   20
   30
   40
   50
   60
   70
   80
   90

   00
18
18
18
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19

20
                           Year
Status in Michigan
Sturgeon River   Lac La Belle


            Huron Bay

 Ontonagon River
                    Status
• Ontonagon River
  – Self-sustaining population
  – Sporadic stocking
  – Spawning closure April 1-June 10 on the West
    Branch
• Lac La Belle
  – Stocking every other year
                    Status
• Sturgeon River
  – Self-sustaining population
  – Alternate year stocking in Portage Lake
• Huron Bay
  – Annual maintenance stocking
  – Assume natural reproduction but not
    documented
Tahquamenon   Waishkey
River         River
                    Status
• Tahquamenon River
  – Self-sustaining population
  – Alternate year stocking
  – 1000 fish tagged in 2001
• Waishkey River
  – Small population
  – Stocking in Brimley Bay
Status in
Wisconsin
St. Louis River



  Amnicon     Bad River
  River Kakagon
                     Status
• Bad River
  – Maintain/increase population size
  – Stock fry and fingerlings
  – Conduct fall survey
• Kakagon Slough
  –   Maintain/increase population size
  –   Stock fry and fingerlings
  –   Population estimate every 3 years
  –   State fingerling stocking Chequamegon Bay
  –   Bioenergetics study Chequamegon Bay
                    Status
• St Louis River (including Amnicon River)
  – Annually monitor population characteristics
  – Conservative angling regulations
  – Maintain high population size to buffer
    potential adverse impacts from invasive aquatic
    species
  – Consumption advisory
Status in Ontario
          Black Sturgeon River   Nipigon Bay
             Black Bay
        Current River
Kaministiquia River
          Pine River
    Pigeon River
                    Status
• Pigeon River
  – Small self-sustaining population
• Pine River
  – Small self-sustaining population
• Kaministiquia River
  – River resident population
                    Status
• Current River
  – Self-sustaining population
  – Spawning reef created at river mouth
• Black Bay
  – Limited adult transfer by sports club
  – Genetic study in progress
  – North end of bay has a 0 possession limit
Current River Walleye Reef
                      Status
• Black Sturgeon River
  – Resident river population
  – Genetic study in progress
• Nipigon Bay
  –   Limited natural reproduction
  –   0 possession limit
  –   Stocking experiment inconclusive
  –   Resident population in tributaries
Montreal River



  Batchawana
  Bay




    Goulais Bay
                      Status
• Goulais Bay
  –   Population depressed
  –   Spawn in Goulais River
  –   Fry stocking failed
  –   Restrictive angling regulations
• Batchawana Bay
  – Population depressed
  – River spawners
• Montreal River
  – Small spawning population
  Impediments to Rehabilitation
• Lack of data from many Ontario and
  Michigan areas
  Impediments to Rehabilitation
• Lack of data from many Ontario and
  Michigan areas
• Degraded habitat caused by poor water
  quality, point and non-point discharge,
  hydro-electric dams
  Impediments to Rehabilitation
• Lack of data from many Ontario and
  Michigan areas
• Degraded habitat caused by poor water
  quality, point and non-point discharge,
  hydro-electric dams
• Spawning areas difficult to sample (e.g. Bad
  River, remote Ontario rivers)
  Impediments to Rehabilitation
• Lack of data from many Ontario and
  Michigan areas
• Degraded habitat caused by poor water
  quality, point and non-point discharge,
  hydro-electric dams
• Spawning areas difficult to sample (e.g. Bad
  River, remote Ontario rivers)
• Slow growing, age structure skewed toward
  old fish, highly variable recruitment
  Recommended Rehabilitation
         Strategies
• Total annual mortality should not exceed
  45%
  Recommended Rehabilitation
         Strategies
• Total annual mortality should not exceed
  45%
• Determine vital statistics of minor
  populations
  Recommended Rehabilitation
         Strategies
• Total annual mortality should not exceed
  45%
• Determine vital statistics of minor
  populations
• Rehabilitate and /or create spawning habitat
  Recommended Rehabilitation
         Strategies
• Total annual mortality should not exceed
  45%
• Determine vital statistics of minor
  populations
• Rehabilitate and /or create spawning habitat
• Increase implementation of forestry and
  agricultural practices within watersheds
  Recommended Rehabilitation
         Strategies
• Total annual mortality should not exceed
  45%
• Determine vital statistics of minor
  populations
• Rehabilitate and /or create spawning habitat
• Increase implementation of forestry and
  agricultural practices within watersheds
• Stocking should be done with fingerlings
        Acknowledgements
• Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
  – Jeff Black
  – Mike Friday
  – Mike Petzold
• Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  – Vern Nurenberg
  – Jim Waybrant
• Bad River Natural Resources Department
  – Rick Huber

				
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posted:10/22/2011
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