Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Devils Lake, N.D. walleye hatch sets record

Devils Lake, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Game and Fish
Department says rising water in Devils Lake has helped produce the
largest natural walleye hatch that fisheries crews have ever
documented.

Randy Hiltner, the northeastern district fisheries supervisor,
says the annual fall reproduction survey produced a lakewide
average catch of 107 walleyes per net. That compares with the
17-year average of 17 walleyes per net and is more than twice the
previous high of 45 per net in 1997.

The lake has risen nearly 27 feet since 1993 and tripled in size
to more than 140,000 acres. That has reduced the saltiness of the
lake and boosted walleye egg hatching.

Hiltner says strong populations of spawning-age walleyes,
favorable weather and ample food sources also contributed to the
banner hatch.

Hiltner says it is too early to know what the strong hatch will
mean to fishing. He says the young walleye will need to survive up
to five years before they are nice, catchable fish.

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