Fish Stocking

Tue, June 23, 2015 | Lakes and Parks

We've been experimenting for several years with stocking saugeye in village lakes with mixed results.Experimental stockings of saugeye in both Lakes Norwood and Avalon resulted in very low survival but very fast growth of the saugeye that did survive.Based on our follow-up gill-net samples, saugeye in both lakes reached 3 pounds in size in just two years. It appeared however, that there very few individuals.But interest in this walleye- sauger hybrid remains high amongst our angling members, so we will keep trying to develop a fishery for this species in the village.This hybrid fish is only available from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and cannot be purchased from commercial hatcheries. When AGFC has surplus saugeye available, which seems to occur every few years or so, they will offer some to us.From now on I will accept the fish when available and rotate the stocking around the village lakes.Hopefully, this will at least result in occasional catch of a saugeye as a rare trophy species in our lakes.The fish are stocked as one-inch fingerlings because they devour each other in the hatchery rapidly if they stay in the hatchery ponds.Therefore, AGFC stocks them at a very small size and few survive in a small lakes full of predators such as our Bella Vista lakes. Following this fisheries management phiosophy, we stocked 12,000 one-inch fingerling saugeye into Lake Windsor, and 6,600 one-inch fingerling saugeye in Lake Ann back in April. If this goes as in Lakes Avalon and Norwood, this will result in a few harvestable sized saugeye present in Windsor and Ann by spring of 2017. I hope members can catch a few of these fish and I hope they let us know. So far, I've only received one report of a saugeye caught by a member in Lake Norwood a few years ago.