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Low water prevents walleyes from running in Big Lake stream

BEMIDJI - Area DNR Fisheries officials traditionally manage a walleye egg take station at the creek between Lake Andrusia and Big Lake.

This year, however, few walleyes will be running in that stream because there isn't much water flowing between the lakes.

"We're a victim of the low water levels," said Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries Supervisor Gary Barnard. "Essentially, the walleye run at that location is at a standstill because we can't detect a water flow."

While unusual, the low water at the Big Lake stream is not unprecedented. DNR officials dealt with similar conditions a couple of times in the 1990s and also were thwarted in their egg-take efforts as recently as 2007.

"It's a no-go this year," Barnard said. "But we will have eggs at the hatchery."

Those eggs will come from the Cut Foot Sioux and Boy River operations. The walleyes in both locations are Mississippi strain and genetically are very similar to the fish which swim in Lake Andrusia and Big Lake.

"We will still have the hatchery running and we certainly hope that we will be able to fill our quota from the other runs," Barnard said. "It feels different not having our run this year but we will have walleyes to stock."

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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