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Island Res. walleye spawning grounds?


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I know that the walleyes spawn up the rivers, but do you think that they also spawn elsewhere? wind blown shores? I just have a hard time seeing all those fish JUST going up rivers to spawn...just curious

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I don't know about Island Lake spawning in particular, but in lakes that are fed by rivers, in general some walleyes will hit the rivers and others will spawn on windblown shoals. Using Vermilion as an example I'm familiar with, only a small percentage of the lake's walleyes spawn in the rivers. I'd guess it's the same in Island but don't know the structure, or what type of shoals are available there for spawning.

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Being a res the fish spawn all over the lake. There are plenty of creeks, rivers and bays that they will spawn in if conditions are right.

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Are those spawning habits typical of reservoir 'eyes, Steve? I never fooled around much fishing reservoirs.

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Actually its typical in even lakes. Some fish will not head up rivers, creeks etc and will wind up spawning in other areas that satisfy their spawning needs.

Rock, rubble/gravel and current are key as is water temp of course. Some walleye may find this in shorelines in the main lake basin where there is wave action that takes place of the river current.

Temps in the low to mid 40's will get them going and when it gets to the low 50's they start leaving these spawning grounds. Early in the year I like to find the warmest water I can. Likely 52 degrees and maybe up to 55 if your lucky.

The females will boogie quickest with the males hanging around longer. Males are also 1st to these spawning grounds often under the ice. Thus why we have such a early closing to walleye season. (Dont get me started on that one.)

I read a great article in a Walleye Insider about this and I will see if I can find it again. I know the mag was at work but Ill see if I can find it online.

Many good reads on walleye spawning and how to fish them before (where possible), during and after.

Man now I have the soft water itch. BRING ON THE OPENER BABY!!!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Walleyes will spawn on shorelines but not just any shoreline. Prevailing winds, depth, temps, and bottom content need to be just right. Just like eyes returning to rivers, could one assume those shorelines become imprinted or are they just areas eyes seek out to spawn in. That would be important in a reservoir when water levels fluctuate from year to year. A shoreline's spawning characteristics can change dramatically with a change in water levels.

Cloquet river takes a good run of eyes but if the lake level is down the eyes will hit a dead end at the falls.

You'll end up with a huge congregation of staging fish with no where to go. What happens then and what happens when spawning shorelines are flooded or in Island lakes case, high and dry.

If suitable spawning areas and conditions aren't found they just don't spawn.

Then you have boom cycles when spawning conditions are perfect. Could be crappies, gills, bass, pike, or eyes. Look at Fish lake crappies. Where experiencing a boom cycle that happened years ago.

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Yup and Eyes will also spawn in flooded shorelines like what happened in Devils lake years ago and at times will spawn on mid lake structure. Finding out where and when they do this is the key to finding a good post spawn bite.

When they get that urge to spawn they will do it in some odd spots when they have to.

Like I said do a online search for walleye spawning habits or conditions and you will come up with tons of good reading.

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Then you have boom cycles when spawning conditions are perfect. Could be crappies, gills, bass, pike, or eyes. Look at Fish lake crappies. Where experiencing a boom cycle that happened years ago.

Good point ST. This is why I think the walleye fishing has been off for the past 2 seasons. By off I mean 14 to 16 inchers are fewer and farther between. Prior to this downturn in It was about 4 maybe 5 years ago when the water on Island was way down at the beginning of the season and stayed down. I think the low water conditions happened two years in a row although it was not as severe the second year. I think these conditions resulted in a poor spawn those years resulting the the current downturn in larger 4 & 5 year old fish.

Getting back to the original question. I know they spawn up in the rivers, but with all the fish present in areas like Hay Creek, Orchard Lake and the Dam area in early May walleyes have to be using the shore lines and shallow grassy areas for spawning.

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First of all thanks for the replies. I often think about this the closer soft water comes into the picture. So I know they need some sort of moving water to dust off the eggs, but how much moving water, and how do you know if a place is for sure spawning grounds?? I guess i'm very sick of fishing the river mouth at opener and I have been able to catch very nice fish all summer long, but the first couple weekds in may, seems to be basically no walleyes of any size to be had.

That said it totally depends on how early/late spring comes. heres how it goes for me on island:

Opener-Late May: River mouths and wind blown shores with little walleyes and limited success. The later in may it is, the better the fishing.(If there is a late spring the end of may can be amazing)

June - Best month ever!

Jully - Starts slowing down but the evening bite gets hot.

August - Evening bite produces fish, mostly smaller...bigger fish are hard to find.

DD - That is soo wierd, I would have to say the opposite! 6 years insn't a very long time to observe a fishery, but it seems that the past two years out of the past six, have been the best years ever for me in terms of catching numbers of the 17-22 in. fish.

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DD - That is soo wierd, I would have to say the opposite! 6 years insn't a very long time to observe a fishery, but it seems that the past two years out of the past six, have been the best years ever for me in terms of catching numbers of the 17-22 in. fish.

I think I'm going to jump in your boat for some lessons. laugh

After the initial week or two of the open water season I usually don't get back to Island until late August or usually after Labor Day. Then I fish the lake most weekends until Nov. In past years catching a couple limits 14 to 16 inch walleyes was usual for each outing. Of course we would have to sift though a bucket load of Island Lake cigars. Beginning in October the crappie bite would begin and be strong until the end of the season. In the last two years I haven't seen the limits of the bigger walleyes and the crappie bite has been almost non-existent. Don't get me wrong I've had some very good outings, but the consistency is lacking.

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I'm no Island lake expert, but I have been fortunate to learn a couple things in six summers of hard fishing. I know this is a little early, but I would love to go out fishing with anyone who would be willing to share Island lake techniques. I think it would be cool to meet some fmers but I also don't want to just show someone my info without any insight on their behalf as well!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
      This is a darn good practice!  
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      Nice fish! Any rain total updates so far? Getting a bit nervous about our dock boards
    • Hookmaster
      Shaweeeeeet Brian!!
    • Brianf.
      Mother Nature gave me quite a thrill on Father's Day. 
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
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    • Jetsky
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