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This is great news to warm a fishery biologist's heart.

Saginaw walleye rebound

Saginaw Bay walleyes appear to have responded to a combination of factors resulting in what one researcher calls a year class of wild fish that "dwarfs anything since World War Two."

"It could be the beginning of a break through...but it doesn't mean we are there, yet," Lead researcher Jim Johnson says. "I didn't think we'd ever see it."

Then, he cautiously adds, "That doesn't mean we have all the answers."

According to Johnson, nearly 75% of the walleyes in the bay are now wild fish. More young than anyone has documented in recent times.

He credits it to a cold winter and increased predation on alewives y stocked and wild walleyes and salmon, which are also proliferating in the lake. Salmon reproduction is "shocking," he says.

There are fewer alewives than ever. Johnson says there are "close to no alewives." Alewives prey heavily on walleye (and salmon) eggs and young.

That doesn't mean stocking will end, he adds. The more walleyes the better, to keep the alewife numbers down.

Pond-reared walleyes are chemically marked, allowing researchers to distinguish between stocked and wild fish taken in surveys.

Source: North Woods Call, February 18, 2004
 

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That is exactly what I wanted to hear. Excellent. :D :D :D
 

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With the number of smalleye everyone seedmed to be catching this winter you knew something was going on.
 

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Where would one launch a boat, to catch some of these aforementioned walleye? ;) Seriously, what launches do people recommend to catch "Saginaw Bay walleye"?
 

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It really depends on how big your boat is because of water levels right now. There is a launch at the mouth of the river and then there are various launches along the west coast of the bay. I was not able to get my boat to float last fall at the rivermouth, maybe this spring it will be different. I do know that Hoyles in Linwood, Great Lakes in Standish and the DNR launch in AuGres all dredge and have good launches so that would be my recomendations. I personally use Great Lakes and the DNR launch myself. I do hope to be able to use the DNR launch at the mouth of the river again this spring because the fishing can be good down in that area early in the season after the fish drop out of the river, if I can't I will probaly pay the 10 bucks and use Hoyles.

Good Fishing

Tim
 

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I'll second tk's response. Good advice.

;) :D
 

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Tk.......The launch will be open when the ice is gone, but the water is only about 3' along way out. The best place to launch, especially for a larger boat(over 19') would be the launch at smith park in essexville. Plenty deep there, but only 1 dock, and parking fills up fast! Takes about 15 to 20 min. at no wake speed to get to mouth of river. It is free launch however:D
 

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I read a very interesting report from the dnr on the rebound of th ewalleye in the bay and a lot of the the information was concurrent with what hamilton reef had mentioned. what I thought was most particlarly interesting was that before the logging days there were actually 2 strains of bay walleye, river spawners and offshore reef spawners. After the logging silted up the bay and the rivers both sub species declined to very low numbers. now with cleaner water and heavy stocking the fish are rebounding. this study has been going on for years now and the dnr is saying that the river fish are coming back in both wild numbers and stocked fish, but the reef fish are basically extinct. imagine how many fish would be in the bay if the reef fish rebounded. the dnr is saying that the bay is at less than 30% of the carrying capacity for walleyes, which is good for us to see only better things to come. alwives were a great concern as they are the number one predator of fry, but there numbers are depleting. sorry i can't remember the website for all of you but it was great info and took about a hour to read.
 

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I don't think the reef spawners are extinct. Alot of people who live in quanicassee would probobly disagree also. I hear there is quite a few that spawn there on callahan and adjacent reefs in bay. Quite a few elderly gentlemen who have lived there all their lives have told me this, so I believe it to be true. Here early May is the time to go after them;)
 
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