Canyon Ferry Reservoir Walleye Spawning Survey #1 (by Adam Strainer)
By angelamontana

Posted: April 16, 2015

It has been a very foul spring on Canyon Ferry Reservoir and our annual walleye spawning survey numbers are proof.  We launched traps this year on March 30th, which is the earliest date in the last 6 years, but only the west shore trap has been active since the launch date and has produced very few walleye.  The trap near Pond 1 has only fish 4 nights, due to foul weather and wind, and conditions simply haven’t provided even close to optimal spawning conditions for walleye.  To date we’ve handled 51 walleye and 685 rainbow trout.  However, the peak of the walleye spawn is typically around April 20th, so next week things might just pop!

FWP is also in the initial phases of a radio telemetry project to monitor how walleye, northern pike, and brown trout move between the reservoir and river upstream.  Our task is to surgically implant 16 walleye, 10 northern pike, and 10 brown trout with radios and track them over the next two years.  So far we’ve been able to implant two walleye and three brown trout with radios and plan to get the remaining radios out this spring/early summer.  We’ll be implanting fish in the reservoir during the spring spawning survey and electrofishing, or using other capture techniques, for fish in the river.  The attached picture is from the first walleye implanted with a radio this spring!

Give me a shout if you’re interested in joining us for a day on the water this sping!


Adam Strainer * R4 Fisheries * Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks