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#2488323 - 01/31/11 03:40 PM
Walleye Reproduction
gixxer01 Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 253
Loc: St. Cloud, MN
What size does a Walleye (Male and Female) have to be, to be considered a reproducer? A lake I have fished for years has a new slot limit in place (14-18"). I am all for the slot, but it seems the sizes don't fully protect the breeding females. The slot has already done a world of good for the fishery, even after only two years of enforcement. Wondering if fish and game officials raise the slot every year once the fish size increases?
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#2488371 - 01/31/11 04:13 PM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: gixxer01]
jwmiller33 Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 3652
Loc: Duluth, MN
According to the MN DNR, most male walleyes generally start to spawn at age 4, while females start to spawn at 5-6, but I think there is some variation in this with different lakes. You are right, the slot imposed on your taking isn't protecting a lot of the bigger females, you are right. Hopefully your lake is fished by guys who are knowledgeable enough to practice selective harvest.
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#2488397 - 01/31/11 04:35 PM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: jwmiller33]
gixxer01 Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 253
Loc: St. Cloud, MN
What length do the ages correspond to? After I thought about the slot a little bit, it actually seems to be a very strict slot. An angler can only keep 3 under 14" and only one over 18". The size has increased over the last 2 years from only being able to catch lots of dinks under 13" to being able to catch decent numbers in the 12-18" range. The one fish over 18" I'm sure will help protect the females.
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#2488402 - 01/31/11 04:42 PM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: gixxer01]
goblueM Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 4308
Loc: St. Paul/Blacksburg VA
length at age varies widely, because growth depends on several factors, such as growing season, inter and intra species competition, prey base, etc

for example, walleyes generally grow faster in a productive south central MN lake rather than a deep and clear northern MN lake


You might consider emailing your district fisheries biologist and asking what their management goals are for this particular lake

"The sweetest hunts are stolen. To steal a hunt, either go far into the wilderness where no one has been, or else find some undiscovered place under everybody's nose" - Aldo Leopold
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#2488923 - 02/01/11 05:23 AM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: goblueM]
John Mickish Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 5610
Loc: White Bear Lake
As a general rule, and this is general, females over 20" and males over 17 are coming into their sexual maturity. They remain egg/milt producers until they die. As mentioned above, it depends on water temp and food available but this is a good guide to go on.

John Mickish
NPAA# 379
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#2489035 - 02/01/11 07:39 AM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: John Mickish]
gixxer01 Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 253
Loc: St. Cloud, MN
Thanks for the replies. The 17 and 20 sounded familiar, but I can see how forage would dictate the size.
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#2489174 - 02/01/11 08:59 AM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: gixxer01]
tgruenke Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 196
Loc: Twin Cities
The lake I fish has a 14-18 slot as well in Wisconsin. I have only fished it for for a few years, but all we seem to catch is 12 inchers. I'm hoping that it will take a few years before the slot starts to give ups bigger fish (not sure when it was established) There is a limit of 3 fish total and only one over 20.
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#2493209 - 02/04/11 08:20 AM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: tgruenke]
south_metro_fish Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 553
Loc: MN
I always wondered how big and deep a lake needs to be for walleyes to reproduce naturally?
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#2493225 - 02/04/11 08:32 AM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: south_metro_fish]
gixxer01 Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 253
Loc: St. Cloud, MN
I think as long as the lake isn't prone to freeze-out, and there is some sort of inlet current area.
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#2493554 - 02/04/11 11:34 AM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: gixxer01]
stoney Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 69
Loc: Nebraska
I believe the rule of thumb is that 18-21 are the most efficient reproducing females. Over 21 are also good thus the "1 over 21" rule in a lot of lakes.
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#2493936 - 02/04/11 04:55 PM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: stoney]
kfk Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 288
Loc: East Grand Forks, MN
3 to 6 pound walleyes are generally the most proficient spawners. There will be spawning in any lake that holds walleyes but current or wave action and proper habitat are needed for the eggs to survive. It varies greatly, but slot limits are generally established to increase the general size (at the same time increasing the numbers of best spawners) of walleyes in a system.
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#2494717 - 02/05/11 05:25 PM
Re: Walleye Reproduction [Re: south_metro_fish]
Jim Almquist Offline

HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 6303
Loc: Carlton , MN
Originally Posted By: south_metro_fish
I always wondered how big and deep a lake needs to be for walleyes to reproduce naturally?


It is not really about the size or depth but... they need wave action along with a gravel/sand/rock bottom to help fertilize and hatch the eggs and it will happen more often with better results on a big lake.

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