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Mar 25, 2012 9:07 PM by Lacey Steele

Biologists Spawn Walleye in Pueblo

From mid to late March every year, aquatic biologists and volunteers are hard at work trying to help out anglers by dramatically increasing the number of Walleye.

We joined them one morning to find out what it takes to gather millions of eggs.

If you're looking to reel in a trophy Walleye this year, it takes more work than you may know.

"Walleye don't spawn naturally in Colorado, and so we have to take the eggs from the fish, spawn the fish out, take the eggs to the hatchery, raise those up as small little fish, and stock those out in our waters," said Doug Krieger, Senior Aquatic Biologist for the Southeast region of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Right now the work is going on in Pueblo.

"We go out and collect the fish from the nets," said Michelle McGree, an aquatic biologist. "We bring them back into the boathouse, which is where I am now. We sort the fish. Figure out if the females are ripe. If they're not ripe, we put them in holding tanks and hold them for three days.

That's when they get the eggs from the females, fertilize them, and then let them sit for awhile before they go on to their next destination: Pueblo's Fish Hatchery.

Inside the hatchery, they're hoping to raise 50 million Walleye this year, and that's not just for Colorado lakes.

"We also use these Walleye eggs or small fish to trade with other states for other fish that we don't produce here," said Krieger.

The eggs are placed in tubes that hold about a half million eggs each.

They go from there to holding tanks before they're finally ready for the lakes, and for you fishermen, hopefully your hooks.

"I like the chance to improve fisheries in this part of the state for anglers of Colorado and other people that come to visit," said McGree.

Pueblo is one of three Walleye operations in the state.

CLICK HERE for a map of hatcheries in Colorado.

You can click on Pueblo on the map to learn more.

 

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