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Interesting Erie Walleye Information

Discussion in 'Walleye & Saugeye Discussions' started by Lundy, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    I attended a meeting for the Western Basin Sportfishing Assoc. earlier this week. A guest speaker, Travis Hartman, Fisheries Biologist, DOW, presented some great information about Erie walleye spawning, life spans, migration, etc.

    The hatch for 2003 stills looks like the best in a long time. The current estimated walleye population of 19 million could jump to 70 million in 2005, 2006 when last years hatch reaches a catchable size.

    He presented tracking data on the movemants of tagged walleye. This was amazing to me. Tagged walleye from the Maumee and Sandusky rivers have been caught over in NY waters. It is believed that these fish roam far and wide and yet still return to the western basin to spawn. To see the color chart he presented is really the only way to really appreciate this data.

    The DOW is now collecting the Otolith from the heads of walleye to better age walleye. The Otolith displays growth rings similar to a tree from each year of growth. This new method is much more accurate for aging fish versus the older scale sample method. A graph was supplied detailing the data from the 2003 PWT harvested walleye. One fact learned is that the walleye live much longer than originally believed in Erie. Walleye to 21 years old were caught. The age per length per gender was also very interesting. If you catch a fish that is much over 25" long the chances are very good that it is a female, the males tend to top out at around 25" on average. A 10 year old male will average 22-23", a 10 year old female will average around 27", a female 29" will be somewhere between 16 -20 years old!

    A lotmore great information was presented, just to much to detail here in this post.

  2. Lewis


    Very interesting Lundy.
    I would like to have that guy in for a visit in our chatroom sometime in the future.

  3. :rolleyes: I caught her last year in the Ohio Canal. She must have been very old as her color was a milky brown and huge scales, all her teeth had fallen out and her mouth had become very round with rubbery lips. She still had a forked tail. She was 38" long and very heavy. Couldn't weigh her as I forgot my scale. I knew she had to be a walleye as I caught her while dragging an Erie Deary, tipped with a worm, along the bottom. :) Wonder how old she was? :confused:
  4. catking

    catking Banned

    Very Interesting !! Nice reading, I cannot believe the age of these fish,nor the numbers being projected. Maybe the powers to be don't know everything? We are learning new things everyday. It amazes me these walleye travel so far in a lake. CATKING. :)
  5. Thanks for the kind words, Lundy. Also, good summary. It's kind of funny sometimes to see how badly our data and resulting presentations are butchered by people trying to summarize them. You hit the nail right on the head. I thoroughly enjoyed presenting to the group. It's great presenting to an attentive audience that is interested in what you are saying.

    One note on the males, our PWT sample was definitely not all inclusive. Yes, you are right, most males will be 25" or less on average, but we have gotten males just over 27" in our sampling this spring. I'm looking forward to reading those otoliths, my bet is that they are 15 years old or more. Otoliths are awesome. They're not really new, we are just finally making a point to use them as our primary aging structure. They take extra effort to collect and analyze, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks in my mind.

    I'd be happy to answer any fisheries management related questions. I'll try to be a little better about monitoring these forums.

    Reel Science
  6. Lewis


    First off..Welcome aboard Reel Science!
    Great user name!
    We will certainly take you up on your kind offer to answer some fisheries management questions.
    I think it would be fascinating for our fellow anglers to have a look behind the scenes,and see what all goes into the great job you guys do managing our fisheries.
    When we get things things setup properly,we would love to have you here as a chat guest one afternoon or evening.
  7. I'd enjoy the chat. This forum is also a great place to post info that could be viewed by a lot people at their leisure. If you have any ideas for topics feel free to post them and I'll reply as well as I can for the topics that I'm qualified to.

  8. Corey

    Corey OGF Team-Charter Member

    So glad to see you here on OGF. It's always nice to be able to get firsthand scientific information. WELCOME!!!
  9. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    Reel Science,

    Thanks for coming, to both the meeting and to OGF.

    When I started to post a summary of your presentation to us at the meeting I thought about adding some of my old long held ideas, but ended up just sticking to the facts :D

    I need to talk to you about smallmouth for a few hours. How about in a few weeks from now on my boat?

    thanks again,
  10. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

    Awesome info Kim! Hopefully they get some of that data online. I'd like to see the raw data and the charts myself. I caught that 14lbr back in 97, and the DNR said that she was from the 85 yr class or so.
  11. Travis has agreed to give another talk to the club in September. It's probably a little early to nail him down about this years hatch and this years trawl results but knowing Travis he'll probably let some pretty interesting info slip out.

    This would be a good meeting to attend to see what our club is all about and to find out the latest scoop on the upcoming Erie tournaments, the OGF/WBSA Hawg outing, and maybe learn something from Travis at the same time. Hope to see you there. For more info check out:
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