According to Zac Brashears, Fisheries Biologist at Valentine State Fish Hatchery, they recently completed a successful walleye spawn operations. Walleye egg collections occurred at Merritt Reservoir the week of April 10th and week of April 17th. At Merritt 1308 females were collected and 595 spawned to get 910 quarts of eggs or 113,750,000 eggs.
These egg collections will be used to meet statewide production needs across Nebraska.
According to Zac Barshears of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, “This was an incredible year”. Brashears reported to KVSH that Usually, they run 6-7 nights to get approximately 600-700 quarts of eggs and to do 930 quarts in 4 nights/days kept the spawning crews hopping. Zac stated “Our trends keep increasing at Merritt right now and we are catching 24.3 females per net compared to 17.6 last year”. “The ice finally came off and those couple 90 degree days increased the water temperatures so that everything came together”.
Brashears reported that Merritt has been in the top 5 walleye lakes over the last several years which can be seen in the fishing forecast. There was not the major alewife kill, but they did observe some mortality, so only time will tell how the fishing will actually turn out.