In Iowa fish hatcheries, all eyes on walleyes

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa – The late night, annual walleye collection is underway at Rathbun Lake, Storm Lake, Clear Lake and the Iowa Great Lakes.

Crews with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau have been setting gillnets at night looking for walleyes ready to spawn.

The goal is to collect enough fish to hatch 158 million walleye fry that will supply Iowa lakes and fish hatcheries.

Hatcheries will operate around the clock as workers bring in the nightly haul well past midnight. The eggs are removed from the walleyes in the morning and the fish are returned to the lake where they were caught to make room for the next night’s catch.

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