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We are now in or getting very close to the walleye spawn. Are there any fish in our waters that eat walleye eggs? Or is it just the walleye fry and fingerlings that get munched up?

Josh

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i think its basically the normal food chain. bigger fish eat smaller ones. but honestly i dont know if the bigger fish eat them up or not. good question to post though. any answers will be greatly appreciated.

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I do believe that many fish prey on fish eggs of all species, especially fish that feed near the bottom. I would imagion that carp, suckers, perch, and maybe even bluegills will eat fish eggs.

Either way, the odds are sure stacked against them to make it to adulthood.

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Just about all thing that swim will eat fish eggs. I'm sure that something that would eat a Sunfish egg would eat a Walleye egg. I do not think there is something out there that specializes in eating Walleye eggs only.

Just remember the male in the Sunfish famly stays on the nest to protect the eggs from being eaten not because it's where the boys hangout. Why do you think each fish lays so many eggs?

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We are now in or getting very close to the walleye spawn. Are there any fish in our waters that eat walleye eggs? Or is it just the walleye fry and fingerlings that get munched up?

Josh

Fish eat eggs.

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Originally Posted By: walleyehunter80
We are now in or getting very close to the walleye spawn. Are there any fish in our waters that eat walleye eggs? Or is it just the walleye fry and fingerlings that get munched up?

Josh

Fish eat eggs.

Is it because the fish like eating eggs or they are hungry for them or is it that they dont want other fish to survive so their own can survive?

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Don't really know for sure but I would say it's just being opportunistic. Easy food!!

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Don't really know for sure but I would say it's just being opportunistic. Easy food!!

Agreed.

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So in the lakes with no natural repoduction do the walleyes just release the eggs anywhere? Or do they attempt to spawn?

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They go through all the normal phases of the spawn it's just that the envirnment doesn't allow a successful hatch. Some lakes in this part of the state have, on occasion, pulled off a really good hatch rate but those are few and far between. I believe Madison and Washington a few years back had some natural reproduction. I wouldn't be suprised if a lake like Tetonka had some success as well. The sediment build-up in our area lakes prevents hatches like those experienced further north. Thank goodness the DNR has had a pretty aggressive stocking plan in place in this part of the state.

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I would imagine all fish eat all fish eggs at some point in their life. Of all the millions of eggs 1 walleye will lay a year, isn't the survival to adulthood like 1%?

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I would imagine all fish eat all fish eggs at some point in their life. Of all the millions of eggs 1 walleye will lay a year, isn't the survival to adulthood like 1%?

i believe it is far less than 1%

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Zep brings up a good point. Does anyone out there know for a fact if any lakes around here do have natural reproduction? Just curious.

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Yes Sarah does have natural reporduction if you look at the lakefinder page for sarah it states that it is one of the rare southern MN lakes that has natural reproduction. The DNR has not stocked that lake since 1991. Closer to home I am not sure of any except Tetonka that do, I know Tetonka gets stocked but a couple years ago there was a good class of fish and this was a year that they where not stocked in Tetonka, so at least some occurs there.

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Some of our local lakes have some successful spawns (depends on the lake and the year).

da_chise31 should be able to answer this better.

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da_chise31 quoted the DNR in a post below:

"...The 2004 walleye population was primarily age 3 fish from the 2001 year class when a large naturally spawned year class occurred in Tetonka and Upper Sakatah lakes and to a lesser extent in Cannon Lake.”

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Yup I also have heard that Sarah is mostly natural, and can anyone answer why? What is so different about Sarah than the rest of these southern lakes?

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Yup I also have heard that Sarah is mostly natural, and can anyone answer why? What is so different about Sarah than the rest of these southern lakes?

Sarah is more of the classic walleye habitat. Lots of wind on the prairie, so they have the windswept thing going for them. Sarah also has the right substrate. Walleye like to spawn over gravel, rubble, or some sort of rocky bottom. Give a walleye a rocky bottom in a lake or stream, 0-6 feet deep or so, with good wave action to clear away silt and sediment and aerate the eggs, and you will get respectable natural reproduction.

Many lakes get a little bit of natural reproduction, but very rarely do you find enough to be self sustaining in the southern 1/3 of the state.

To answer the question about natural reproduction lakes in SC Minnesota, it would be hard to track. Many of our lakes are stocked and unless all the released fish were marked and considerable time and effort was put into recapturing those fish in the fall, examining otoliths (assuming OTC is the mark), and running the numbers....you would end up most likely finding very little natural reproduction and spending a lot of money to come to that conclusion. A better use of time and money, IMO, is to look for spawning habitat first before going to all the work of described above. And most of the SC MN lakes don't have much walleye spawning habitat.

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Nice info da chise31. I know some lakes (like Osakis) have done some walleye habitat restoration in terms of "building" spawning grounds for the walleye. Have these proved to be successful and would they be an option on our lakes down here?

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Here's a short synopsis of artificial walleye spawning shoal research

I'm afraid southern Minnesota waters would be subject to rapid siltation, algal growth, substrate sinking into muck or silt, and in some cases gradient/slope problems.

More often than not it would be a whole lot of money for something that would fail or be too minimal to accommodate any sort of serious spawning run.

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Lake Sarah has great natural reproduction, as do your classic walleye lakes in central and northern Minnesota. Walleyes like to spawn over shallow rocks if they are available which they are in some Southern Minnesota Lakes and rivers. The eggs are then protected somewhat from bottom feeders like carp, suckers and the like. For walleyes, gravel is a second choice and sand is third. Its my understanding that the DNR has been hauling rocks into the shallows of Winnibigoshish to boost natural reproduction. It takes a lot of rocks, but it also makes sense.

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So then the fish actual go through spawning but the eggs don't survive in lakes without the proper spawning grounds to recruit?

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That is correct. In addition, walleye and sauger like to spawn over current if it is available.

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