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Hook & Hunting: Walleye Egg Collecting on Muskegon River

Anglers on the Muskegon River should keep a look out for Department of Natural Resources biologists collecting walleye eggs in the next few weeks.

The DNR is hoping to collect at least 32 million eggs from walleye, just below the Croton Dam.

They will be using electro fishing to stun the fish, collect them in nets and collect the eggs. The eggs will then be hatched at state hatcheries and raised until they are released into lakes across Michigan.

This is an annual process but, due to the pandemic, was skipped last year. Which means the state will have millions of less fish this summer but the DNR is hoping it doesn’t make a major impact.

“It shouldn’t be catastrophic because usually when you go walleye fishing, you catch fish from a number of different year classes, not just one, said Mark Tonello, DNR biologist, “It definitely isn’t going to help. What we’ll try to do is we’ll try to play catch-up if we can but walleye rearing is a lot like farming, there are good years and there are bad years.”

The walleye egg collecting season begins Thursday and expected to last until April 16th.

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