An unexpected set of circumstances recently allowed surplus walleye fry from the Garrison National Fish Hatchery in North Dakota to be stocked into Glendo Reservoir. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department received and stocked over nine million walleye fry on June 6.
“Wyoming Game and Fish has a great cooperative trade agreement with the North Dakota Game and Fish,” said Steve Sharon, Fish Culture Supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish in a press release.“We provide North Dakota with trout or trout eggs that are surplus in our culture program and receive warm and cool water fish in return. This is a win/win scenario for anglers in both states.”
Garrison National Fish Hatchery had exceptional survival of walleye eggs this year. They were able to meet all their requests, and, in an unprecedented occurrence, still have a massive surplus of fry, or recently hatched juvenile fish.
“Recently we have seen poor walleye spawning success in Glendo. This is associated with high runoff years. With Glendo being in flood storage again in 2016, and this exceptional opportunity from North Dakota, we considered stocking. The stars aligned and we stocked the fish in early June,” said Game and Fish Fisheries Biologist Gordon Edwards.
Walleye were first introduced in Glendo in 1972 and last stocked in 1974 and for over 40 years the walleye population has been supported by natural recruitment.
“Our hope is these fry can hedge against another potentially poor spawning and recruitment year given the extremely high and cold spring inflows in Glendo Reservoir,” said Edwards. “In this way we hope to jump start this regionally important walleye fishery”.
Game and Fish will continue to evaluate the success of the fry stocked as they mature.