IFG offering cash for walleye
Category: News Release
Mar 3rd, 2019 by Keith Worrall 277
Modified Mar 3rd, 2019 at 9:12 PM
Idaho Fish and Game has added $50,000 in incentives to urge anglers to target the nonnative spiny rays in the lake, that the department views as a threat to the lake’s kamloops and kokanee populations.
In an effort to bolster the Lake Pend Oreille kamloops fishery, in part by limiting predatory species that feed on kokanee, Idaho Fish and Game is giving anglers an incentive to target walleye.
The state fish and game department injected the heads of 50 walleye with internal tags that, once the heads are turned in to the department by anglers, will reveal winners of $1,000 cash prizes.
In addition, anglers who turn in walleye heads will be entered into a monthly drawing for 10 cash prizes of $100.
An introduced species that likely originated from populations in the Noxon Reservoir via the Clark Fork River, walleye have over the last decade burgeoned in Lake Pend Oreille — requiring Fish and Game to net and destroy the species. The department’s efforts are similar to its lake trout suppression program that began in the mid 2000s.
Unlike lake trout, which were planted in Pend Oreille last century and didn’t greatly affect the lake’s fishery until recently, walleye populations numbers increased quickly and the size of the toothy spiny rays — many over the 8 to 10 pound mark — rival their kin in places such as Washington’s Lake Roosevelt, which contains a popular regional trophy walleye fishery.
The warm water fish can produce over 35,000 eggs per pound of body weight, assisting in high reproduction, which can have adverse effects on management for other species.
“They are also adapted to live in a variety of both lake and stream environments, making them very effective invaders,” said Kiira Siitari of Idaho Fish and Game.
“Walleye have dramatically changed fish communities in the western United States.”
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