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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.

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walleye status in lake superior

Walleye StatusinLake Superior

Stephen T. Schram

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

lake superior fish community objectives

Lake Superior Fish Community Objectives

Maintain, enhance, and rehabilitate self-sustaining populations of walleye and their habitat over their historical range.

walleye subcommittee
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
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Known Walleye Spawning Areas

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slide7

Lac La Belle

Sturgeon River

Huron Bay

Ontonagon River

status
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
status9
Status
  • Sturgeon River
    • Self-sustaining population
    • Alternate year stocking in Portage Lake
  • Huron Bay
    • Annual maintenance stocking
    • Assume natural reproduction but not documented
slide10

Tahquamenon

River

Waishkey

River

status11
Status
  • Tahquamenon River
    • Self-sustaining population
    • Alternate year stocking
    • 1000 fish tagged in 2001
  • Waishkey River
    • Small population
    • Stocking in Brimley Bay
slide13

St. Louis River

Bad River

Amnicon

River

Kakagon

status14
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
status15
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
slide17

Black Sturgeon River

Nipigon Bay

Black Bay

Current River

Kaministiquia River

Pine River

Pigeon River

status18
Status
  • Pigeon River
    • Small self-sustaining population
  • Pine River
    • Small self-sustaining population
  • Kaministiquia River
    • River resident population
status19
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
status21
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
slide22

Montreal River

Batchawana

Bay

Goulais Bay

status23
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
Impediments to Rehabilitation
  • Lack of data from many Ontario and Michigan areas
impediments to rehabilitation25
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 rehabilitation26
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 rehabilitation27
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
Recommended Rehabilitation Strategies
  • Total annual mortality should not exceed 45%
recommended rehabilitation strategies29
Recommended Rehabilitation Strategies
  • Total annual mortality should not exceed 45%
  • Determine vital statistics of minor populations
recommended rehabilitation strategies30
Recommended Rehabilitation Strategies
  • Total annual mortality should not exceed 45%
  • Determine vital statistics of minor populations
  • Rehabilitate and /or create spawning habitat
recommended rehabilitation strategies31
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 strategies32
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
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