Category: Warmwater Surveys
Published: April 2015
Author(s): Michael R. Schmuck
Understanding the dynamics and monitoring trends of fish populations managed for recreational fishing is an important component of effective fisheries management. We conducted Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) surveys on five important Walleye Sander vitreus lakes in central and eastern Washington (Lake Roosevelt, Banks Lake, Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and Scooteney Reservoir in fall 2014 to monitor population abundance and biological parameters of Walleye. Walleye abundance increased from 2013 on all waters except Banks Lake. Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir had the most significant increases in Walleye abundance from 2013. These increases were due to the higher than average relative abundance of age-0 Walleye collected in 2014. Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and Scooteney Reservoir had the highest percentage of Walleye at least 16 inches and had the fastest growing fish, with Walleye reaching 18 inches by fall at ageâ€"2. In addition to Walleye, Lake Whitefish were very abundant in Lake Roosevelt and Banks Lake, representing 28% and 33% of the total fish collected during FWIN on those waters, respectively. Yellow Perch were very abundant on Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir, and Scooteney Reservoir with a high percentage over 8 inches. Walleye anglers should find excellent fishing opportunities on all our FWIN waters; however; anglers in search of larger Walleye should focus on Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir.
Schmuck, M.R. 2014. Results from the 2014 Fall Walleye Index Netting Surveys in Washington State. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Olympia. 45pp.