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fisherman-andy

Can Walleyes spawn & reproduce in a small body of water?

14 posts in this topic

P.S. I posted this also in the Walleye section.

My family is thinking about buying some land that has a small body of water on it. I was thinking about stocking it with Walleye frys purchased legally somehow as opposed to a bass pond.

But it has come to my understanding that Walleyes don't spawn or reproduce well under such conditions and the only way of replenishing would be to restock frys on a yearly basis. Add to that the difficulty of forage maybe stock some perch or blue gills. I want to also have Crappies.

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If it was up north on a rocky windswept lake it could work. But around here there's about a 99.9% chance it won't work. Especially if you wanted to have sunfish and crappies in the lake...because even if the walleyes did lay eggs the sunfish would just eat all the eggs and fry. Save yourself money and stick with bass/panfish.

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I think stocking walleye will be a bit harder. As you could see from some DNR metro lake stockings. Even on some small lakes and ponds in the metro that hardly get pressure and are stocked, somewhat regularly, have not yet to see natural reproduction. Stock it with some bass and crappies. And when the crappies reach slab size tell me where it's at, I wont tell anyone, I swear grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Andy:

I do not work for the DNR but I do have a background in fisheries. According to the USFWS critical habitat requirements for walleyes the main limiting factor to walleye populations is the availability of spawning habitat. To successfully spawn walleyes need clean gravel or sand-gravel substrates that are well oxygenated by either wave action or current. To me it is not really the size of the system that determines weather or not the stocked fry could reproduce but instead is the availability of suitable spawning habitat. If your pond does not have suitable habitat then the walleyes will not be able to successfully spawn. You still might get good growth rates depending on the available forage. However, if you do not want to have to stock every year or every other year then it might be better to keep the pond as a bass/bluegil system.

Just my thoughts. That and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee. smile.gif

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The body of water is fairly small probably between 8 to 12 acres. Looks like mostly mud & silt so far. No sand. I've seen it in the fall but not summer so I don't know what kind of water clearity it will actually have. It seems clear enough when i visually inspected it in the fall. One thing for sure there is already small sunfish in it. Probably stock by the DNR. Possibly even some bass I don't know yet. Won't be able to tell until the spring. The pond is pretty remote so I don't think there is public access anywhere.

I was thinking now of Walleye fingerlings instead of frys. I am split decision about the perch now as forage but id definately like to have some Crappies.

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Guaranteed the crappies and bluegills will eat the walleye fry. Not all of them but enough to make a big dent. If you do go with fry stock about 50,000 (5000/acre). That's the rate the DNR uses on their rearing ponds.

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a friend of mine built his own pond about 1 acre......he stocked it with walleye,perch,and crappie.....the walleye do not reproduce as we know but they live good lives and they are definatly growing......the perch are monsters but we never see little perch cause they are probably eaten by the crappies and walleye.....the crappies reproduce and have taken over the pond for the most part.....he has some ugly sunfish in there but they are a natural fish as he has not stocked them and does not want them in the system cause they can ruin a pond quickly by over producing!!!! The problem with stocking walleyes on a pond of your size is you might have a hard time catching them......the first 2 years he had his pond he couldn't find the walleyes even though it is only an acre. It is a fun little fishery and it has big fish but it is amazing how hard it can be to catch fish in there on some days!!!! Good Luck

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Give it a try:

dump some gravel in one area

and get some current in the gravel area (there are pump or paddle type devices that can be installed to accomplish this)

Let us know how it goes, it's gotta be better than having another !@#^ bass pond in the area.

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Stock it with catfish instead. At least then you'll never have to worry about it being overtaken with bullheads...'cause they'll find a way in there somehow.

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If you have a somewhat deep creek with a hard bottom and decent flow in spring the walleyes will spawn in it. Otherwise you'll have to stock them..

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How do you prevent winterkill in such a small pond?

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Aerator.

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I sure would love to be able to have my own fishing pond. I would probably go with crappies and walleyes. It might be expensive, but maybe fingerling sized walleyes would have a better chance of survival. Don't forget the fatheads. Those walleyes eat tons of them, especially the mid sized ones.

Dumping gravel and installing some kind of system to add current to recreate natural spawning habitat is an interesting idea. I'm just wondering what the water displacement would do to the rest of the pond. I bet it could work if it was done right.

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I'd love to have a pond too, but it looks like trying to keep walleyes in it would be more of a hastle than it's worth. Just go with the bass/panfish mix, but I'd still put a couple catfish in there to keep the pond clean of bullheads and other uninvited guests.

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