Walleye Spawn Update II, May 2, 2023
By angelamontana

Posted: May 4, 2023

Colby Mulder assisted with the delicate process of stirring the eggs during the fertilization process.

The walleye trap netting and egg collection effort is in full swing in the Big Dry Arm of Fort Peck Reservoir! Water surface temperatures have bumped up slightly to around 50-53 degrees throughout our trap netting locations. These are still VERY favorable for walleye spawning activity.

These warm and stable water temperatures have continued to push the walleye up shallow and into our trap nets. Once again, a large portion of the females we’ve been capturing have been ripe and releasing their eggs. In fact, we’ve been able to bring in over 100 ripe female walleye each day over the last two days.
However, we have observed a few more spent female walleye over the last couple of days as well. It’s likely this will be a very short and condensed walleye spawning season based on the large numbers of walleye we’re seeing all at once.
On Monday, we collected a little over 18 million eggs from 112 ripe female walleye. We also had another egg collection today (Tuesday) from 114 females which should give us close to another 15 million more eggs. These three egg collection efforts should put us a little over 50 million walleye eggs total thus far for the 2023 season. This has been an amazing amount of eggs collected in a very short period of time and quite unexpected considering the later than normal start.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Update by Fort Peck Reservoir Biologist Heath Headley
Feature photo: Colby, Will, and Selby Mulder doing some walleye wrangling. Thanks for the help!
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