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DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard

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DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard
After reading some of the statements and comments on the issue of dead walleyes and illegal harvest of walleyes at Willard I sent a link to the thread to Chris Penne of DWR. As always, he was prompt to respond and put together a fairly lengthy and informative reply.

Thanks again, Chris

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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks Pat and Chris,
Appreciate the fast detailed response. Chris how does the recruitment numbers vary for natural spawned eggs verses the planting efforts from these eggs that are harvested? I guess what I expect is even though you take 30 million eggs, you most likely return more fish to the lake than would have resulted if the fish would have just naturally spawned... Is that true? Thanks Jeff
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks again Pat for contacting Chris about this issue and posting his response.

Chris- Thank you for responding so quickly and addressing many of our concerns. You guys and gals do a great job but some time we don't tell you that enough.


BFT administrator and moderator

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Re: [SkunkedAgain] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
I am attaching a copy of the marking report for 2017 referred to by Chris. It should provide some answers to your questions. But, as Chris has pointed out on other occasions, it is virtually impossible to track any given batch of hatchlings once they enter the lake ecosystem. Any numbers would be pure guesswork.

What is not guesswork is that there is a significant difference in the hatch and survival rate of eggs kept in a hatchery environment and those allowed to chance it in the wild. Good aeration, constant temps and a lack of predation in hatcheries just gotta result in more eggs surviving to the fry stage. But once they are flushed into the lake they are all subject to the same vicissitudes of walleye life.

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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks to Pat for following up and thanks to Chris for his quick response.
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Re: [SkunkedAgain] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
SkunkedAgain wrote:
Thanks Pat and Chris,
Appreciate the fast detailed response. Chris how does the recruitment numbers vary for natural spawned eggs verses the planting efforts from these eggs that are harvested? I guess what I expect is even though you take 30 million eggs, you most likely return more fish to the lake than would have resulted if the fish would have just naturally spawned... Is that true? Thanks Jeff

Hey Jeff, Chris read your question on the board and sent me this response to post for all to read:


In answer to Skunked Again's question - we can't tell exactly what the hatch rate is, which you touched on but there is an important detail we can tell, which is how many of the young walleye in our nets each year were stocked by DWR. In 2015, about 88% of the young walleye netted were fish we stocked. This suggests we created a solid year class on a year when survival of naturally recruited walleye was lackluster. It also tells us that the 500,000 fry we stocked fared much better than the millions of eggs deposited in the reservoir. We didn't have great luck in 2016, but neither did the naturally recruited fish. As I mentioned, it's rare to have two strong year classes of walleye in a row so no surprise there. In 2017, both naturally reproduced fish and stocked fish did very well and about 53% of the young fish in our nets were stocked fish. Considering we only stocked 500,000 fish, I would say having those fish represent just over half of the new recruits that year is really good when compared with the millions of eggs deposited. So all in all, it is clear that the eggs we are taking, hatching and stocking as fry have a much better shot at survival compared to the eggs deposited in the reservoir. We're not looking to replace natural reproduction, just skim off the top and enhance it with the supplemental stocking.

Chris
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks Chris and Pat
I know the stocking program sure helped the steelheads on the salmon and I'm sure like you say in time we'll see it on the walleye as well. Just seeing the number of anglers now catching eyes should be proof that things are getting better. Fun to go after walleye and actually catch some. Thanks again. J
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
My first thought when I read about the dead walleyes was DAMN SNAGGERS!! because I've seen dead walleye in both the inlet channel and harbor in the long ago past that had snag scars. One even had a big treble hook (like about a 4.0) that had broken off sticking out of it.

Sure wish they would simply close the channel from March 1 through May 31.
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
TubeDude wrote:
In 2015, about 88% of the young walleye netted were fish we stocked.

How can you tell they were stocked, do you ask them?

Seriously though, how can you tell? Clipped fin or some other kind of marking? It would be interesting to know when you catch one if it was stocked or natural. Are the same markings used in other reservoirs as well for walleye?
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks tubedude and Mr. Penn for taking the time to help all of us to understand what is going on at Willard. This fishery is very important to a lot of us because we have spent a life time of fishing it. However, the issue with the inlet channel is still a huge problem for a lot of us. I still can't see the justification for opening it during the spawn, we don't allow fishing the tributaries that Kokenee spawn in so why Willard. This is to simply protect the species while they complete their reproduction process. There is plenty of access to fish Willard during the walleye spawn without interfering with the inlet channel where the walleye are stacked like a cord of wood during this time. These walleye are so vulnerable at this time that it just isn't fair for them, that is why fishermen are able to snag and bag so easily. The people that want the inlet channel open need to realize that these walleye are in there for a reason and closer at this time(March 1st thru May 31st) is important to the species. Closer of the inlet channel is a no brainer if we as sportsman and fishermen have any respect and appreciation for the walleye in Willard.
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Re: [Dunn13] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
I agree. They will close a trout stream six months out of the year to protect cutthroat trout. Walleye are tasty. More is always better.
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Re: [T-DOG91] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks for taking the time Pat; much appreciated as always. And Chris - you da man! Pretty much says it all. But the haters are still going to hate and spew their hatred on here - don't cha know? Cool


LEAVE THE DAMN CHANNEL OPEN. IT HAS VIRTUALLY NO EFFECT ON THE OVERALL POPULATION OF WALLEYE IN WILLARD BAY. PERIOD.


Boy, that should generate some heat.



Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
So if you want the channel to remain open I would like to hear your reason for it. Closing the channel for 3 months out of the year is a very small price to pay for what it does to help the walleye. The reason for it being opened is rediculous, we're saying that it gives more fishing opportunity for other fishermen. No, there is enough of Willard for people to fish without disturbing the spawn. I fished Willard for many of years around the dikes and done very well on the walleye without having to fish the inlet. Leaving the inlet open during this time of year is just ignorance towards the fishery, there is no logical reason for it.
I'm sorry dubob there's just no justification for it that makes sense!
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Chris-
I appreciate your response!

First I want to explain my love for Walleye and Willard Bay. As a young boy 8 years old (And Through out my youth) myself and dad spent countless days and nights chasing Walleye! Both Trolling and casting from shore. These memories are priceless to a father and son....
Now being 46 years old I love the time I spend at willard chasing Walleye with my son and re-living the times spent with my father.

Lets talk about the inlet channel-

You CANNOT close the channel due to a handful of violators! Its like closing I-15 because some folks drive to fast?
These fish due bite at this time and yes some get snagged but can be released. It gives the average guy without a boat a good chance at legally catching a Walleye.

The group of us fishing this past Thursday evening did call in Friday and report these individuals snagging and gave personal descriptions and vehicle descriptions. I also offered my phone and asked "If there is anything I can personally do to help I'm more than willing" These groups of folks need to be nipped in the bud ASAP at the beginning of the season.

Ok now for the questions-
I'm quoting your report...

As one of the most popular sport fish in North America (USDOI 2001), walleye were introduced to the reservoir shortly after its completion and soon established a viable naturally reproducing population.

You state in this paragraph that Willard Bay has a "Established viable naturally reproducing population".


Within the same paragraph you state-

While this practice is particularly common in North America, supplemental stocking in waters where walleye have a naturally reproducing population is rarely successful, with success being reported in about 6% of cases (Kerr 2011).

So the question here is if Willard has a established viable naturally reproducing population and stocking in such a water is "Rarely successful" and success being reported in the 6% range is the DNR really doing justice at Willard?

Do we have any data on the fish that were chemically marked as of yet? Should we continue this program assuming results? Has "One" Chemically marked fish been checked in 2018 at Willard Bay?

I could see repeating a
In Reply To:
program after data has proved results but we continue each year without knowing yet???

Chris, Im just a concerned Fisherman I by NO means wish to insult and hope I'm not coming across that way. Please feel free to PM myself your email address for direct contact.

Thank You,
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
What a great write up. Thanks for getting a hold of them for that TD. I might just have to take Chris up on that invite to check out the process at the South Marina and let BrigfishJr get a little biology lesson.


"Only dead fish go with the flow."
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Re: [Dunn13] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Dunn13 wrote:
TubeDude wrote:
In 2015, about 88% of the young walleye netted were fish we stocked.


How can you tell they were stocked, do you ask them?

Seriously though, how can you tell? Clipped fin or some other kind of marking? It would be interesting to know when you catch one if it was stocked or natural. Are the same markings used in other reservoirs as well for walleye?

Read this. Chemical marking. And yes, this is a widespread practice. But the DWR folks have special lighting and equipment that allows them to check for marking. Regular anglers do not.

So yes, you do have to ask them. But don't be surprised if they don't answer. Walleyes are notorious for keeping their mouths closed to fishermen.


WILLARD MARKING 2017.pdf (679 KB)
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
RABBLE ROUSER.

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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
TubeDude wrote:
RABBLE ROUSER.


Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Re: [perchound] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
perchound wrote:
So if you want the channel to remain open I would like to hear your reason for it. Closing the channel for 3 months out of the year is a very small price to pay for what it does to help the walleye. The reason for it being opened is rediculous, we're saying that it gives more fishing opportunity for other fishermen. No, there is enough of Willard for people to fish without disturbing the spawn. I fished Willard for many of years around the dikes and done very well on the walleye without having to fish the inlet. Leaving the inlet open during this time of year is just ignorance towards the fishery, there is no logical reason for it.
I'm sorry dubob there's just no justification for it that makes sense!
No malice, disrespect, or ill will intended towards you personally, but you've already stated that "there's just no justification for it that makes sense!" There is a ton of evidence available to the contrary, but none of it will change your opinion about it. So it isn't worth my time to show you the evidence when I know up front it will fall on deaf ears. And for the record, I don't have a dog in this fight. I have NEVER fished the channel and have no intention to do so in the future. But I AM 100% in favor of leaving it open. Tight lines to you Sir. I truly hope you have a great season on Willard this year.

Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Re: [gooseguts] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
It seems you may have missed the part in Chris Penne response where over 50% of the gill net samplings have been from the supplemental planting of walleye fry. Which apparently is rare but is working favorably at Willard Bay.
Rod P
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Pat and Chris,
thank you both for taking the time to educate us on Willard Bay Walleye.

Willard has become my home waters and I spend a lot of time there both from shore and boat.

I have mixed feelings about the inlet and I will rely on the Division to do what is best there.
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
dubob wrote:

There is a ton of evidence available to the contrary, but none of it will change your opinion about it. So it isn't worth my time to show you the evidence when I know up front it will fall on deaf ears.


Bob, you call it the way you see it. I like that.Smile


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
It's quite obvious that what I'm saying is falling on deaf ears as well, if you would really listen to what I'm saying you would look at it differently. However, you choose to not use any common sense toward the issue of disturbing the walleye spawn. It's all about allowing the walleye to spawn without disruption, is it really that hard for you to get it?
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Re: [perchound] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
perchound wrote:
It's quite obvious that what I'm saying is falling on deaf ears as well, if you would really listen to what I'm saying you would look at it differently. No, I would not. I hear exactly what you are saying and fully comprehend what it means to you. However, Sir, you are dealing strickly on emotions, not facts. It has already been scientifically proven and so stated that the spawn in the channel is 100%, absolutely, a wasted effort by the fish. Science has proven that 99.9% (well, maybe as low as 99.5% Wink) of the eggs deposited in the channel will NOT be fertilized. Therefore, comma, fishing -or NOT fishing - in the channel will have absolutely zero effect on the overall walleye spawn in Willard as a whole. And if you weren't so tied up in your emotions over this issue, you would listen to the facts and act accordingly. As the old saying goes, the truth will set you free. And the facts will tell you the truth.

However, you choose to not use any common sense toward the issue of disturbing the walleye spawn. It's all about allowing the walleye to spawn without disruption, is it really that hard for you to get it? Again, the facts do NOT support your emotions on this issue. Disrupting the spawn in the channel will NOT have ANY impact on the success of the spawn for the reservoir as a whole. Those are facts and no amount of emotional posturing by you and others on this board is going to change that. Your emotions on this issue will not let you listen to any other outcome except the channel must be closed.
Nice try, but MY common sense is exactly where it needs to be. And that is looking at the FACTS and forming MY opinions based on those FACTS and NOT my emotions.
Come up with some FACTS that prove my facts are wrong, and I'll be happy to listen. Nothing wrong with my ears that my $8,000 set of hearing aids won't cure! Cool



Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
IS THAT A FACT!

Dubob, you are so full of yourself that you fail to hear or see anything other than what you choose to. There's your FACTS!
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