John Mullican, Fisheries Biologist
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Posted on May 21, 2013 | Permalink
Walleye Stocked in the Upper Potomac River
Location: Upper Potomac River
Fisheries staff recently gave a helping hand to Walleye in the upper Potomac River. The Walleye is a popular sport fish with anglers, especially those that need to scratch the fishing itch even during the cold of winter and early spring while other species are less active. Although Walleye do reproduce naturally in the Potomac, surveys have indicated poor recruitment in recent years, likely due to harsh spring floods that reduce the survival of fry. To supplement the natural reproduction, mature adult Walleye were collected by electrofishing during February and March and transported to the Manning Hatchery in southern Maryland. The Manning Hatchery staff did an excellent job of successfully spawning the adults (they were then returned to the river) and rearing the fry/fingerlings to a stockable size. The fry/fingerlings produced were then stocked in suitable waters throughout the State, including the upper Potomac. A total of 33,000 fingerlings were recently stocked into the Potomac between Dam 5 (Clear Spring) and Dam 3 (Harpers Ferry). Those that survive will reach the legal minimum size of 15 inches in just two to three years. Future surveys will hopefully be able to determine to what extent the stocked fish have contributed to the fishery.