Results from the 2016 Fall Walleye Index Netting Surveys in Washington State
 
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Results from the 2016 Fall Walleye Index Netting Surveys in Washington State

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management - Warmwater Surveys



Number of Pages: 57

Author(s): Michael R. Schmuck, WDFW Fish Program, Fish Management Disivision

DESCRIPTION:

ABSTRACT:
We conducted Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) surveys on five waters in central and eastern Washington (Lake Roosevelt, Banks Lake, Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and Scooteney Reservoir) in fall 2016 to monitor population abundance and biological parameters of Walleye Sander vitreus. Walleye abundance, measured in terms of gill net catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), decreased from 2015 on Lake Roosevelt, Potholes Reservoir and Scooteney Reservoir. Potholes Reservoir and Scooteney Reservoir had the highest decreases in Walleye abundance from 2015. Despite these declines, these populations are still healthy and contain high numbers of Walleye in multiple year-classes. The increase in CPUE on Banks Lake was due to strong age–1 year class. Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and Banks Lake had the highest percentage of Walleye at least 16 inches. Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir had the fastest growing fish, with Walleye reaching 18 inches by fall at age–2. In addition to Walleye, Lake Whitefish were very abundant in Lake Roosevelt and Banks Lake, representing 28% and 20% of the total fish collected on those waters, respectively. Yellow Perch declined in abundance on all of our FWIN waters in 2016. Walleye anglers should find excellent fishing opportunities on all FWIN waters, but anglers in search of larger Walleye should focus their effort on Banks Lake, Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir.

Suggested Citation:
Schmuck, M.R. 2017. Results from the 2016 Fall Walleye Index Netting Surveys in Washington State. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Olympia. 51pp.