I will be posting our daily shocking schedule as the egg-take moves closer. As of right now, we will be shocking between Croton and Pine Street Monday, March 26th. This is a yearly trout survey we do in conjunction with checking walleye females for ripeness. We will begin around 9am and most shocking should occur above Pine Street. I will post the date of the first egg-take after this survey is completed. As in years past, we will need to cover all areas of the river between Croton and Pine Street during egg-take days to reach our daily quota of ripe fish. Thank you for your cooperation. Thank you, MDNR Fisheries crew Plainwell March 22, 2018 Contact: Plainwell Customer Service Center, 269-685-6851 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839 Walleye egg collection efforts on Muskegon River to begin this month Muskegon River anglers should be on the lookout this spring for Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries personnel collecting walleye eggs below Croton Dam. Walleye will be collected with electro-fishing boats starting as early as the week of March 26 and concluding by April 13. Anglers should use caution when fishing near the electro-fishing boats. To ensure their safety, wading anglers will be asked to exit the water when the boat approaches. Those who wish to avoid the walleye collection activities should fish downstream. The DNR plans to collect approximately 47 million walleye eggs from the Muskegon River this year that will result in 15 million fry for transfer to rearing ponds and direct fry plants throughout the Lower Peninsula. Walleye fry transferred to ponds will be raised to fingerling size (approximately 1.5 to 2.5 inches) and stocked in lakes and rivers throughout the state in late spring or early summer. Lake Michigan and many inland lake walleye populations in the Lower Peninsula depend on the fingerlings produced from Muskegon River eggs. The size of the walleye spawning run in the Muskegon River is presently about 40,000 to 50,000 fish each year. DNR crews will strip milt (sperm) and eggs from approximately 500 adult fish, which will be returned to the river – except for 60 which will be sent to Michigan State University for fish health testing. "This adult population consists of mostly stocked fish," said Ed Pearce, fisheries technician supervisor who coordinates the egg-take. "The Muskegon River has the largest run of walleye in the Lake Michigan watershed south of Green Bay." Five days of fish collections are planned this spring. The actual date those collections will begin depends on water temperatures and the presence of ripe fish. This schedule can change on a daily basis for many reasons, but it is anticipated most work will be completed from the last week of March through the second week of April. Sampling using electro-fishing usually begins at about 8:30 a.m. each day at Croton Dam and proceeds downstream to the Pine Street Access Site. If more eggs are needed, additional collections may occur downstream to the Thornapple Street Access Site. Egg collection and fertilizing is conducted at the Pine Street Public Access Site, about two miles downstream of Croton Dam. This process generally begins between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome to observe how the eggs are removed from the fish and fertilized before they are packed and shipped to Wolf Lake and Platte River State Fish Hatcheries.