Monday, 25 May 2009
Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum)
Morgan and Devin (Abby & Doris's son and daughter) has recently caught some baby walleye and has set them up int a 20 gallon aquarium to raise until the end of summer, then let go.
Walleye spawning occurs in the spring and early summer. Normally spawning begins shortly after the ice breaks, in water temperatures of 44 - 52 Farenheit. Males move to the spawning first. Spawning grounds for Lake Wabatongushi are in boulder, to coarse-gravel shoals of lakes. Spawning takes place at night, in groups of one larger female and up to six males. Males are not territorial and no nest is built. Prior to spawning there is a lot of pursuit, pushing, circular swimming, and fin erection. Then, the group rushes upward into shallow water, stops, the females roll on their sides and eggs and sperm are released. Usually the female deposits all her eggs in one night.
Eggs fall into crevices and in the substrate and egg numbers have been as high as 612,000 in females 31.5 inches, and it increases yearly to at least age 11. Eggs hatch in 12-18 days in temperatures prevalent on the spawning grounds. The yolk sac is absorbed quickly and by 10-15 days after hatching the young have dispersed into the upper levels of the open water.
So by the end of summer, we should have some baby walleye that we have watched grow throughout the summer.
Generally the larger the walleye in the lake means that these females will produce larger eggs and more healthy young. We do encourage catch and release, so that these big females can be let go and make more walleye for the lake.