Hook & Hunting: Mason County Walleye Association Raises More than 400,000 Walleye

Since 1990, the Mason County Walleye Association has raised 5.7 million walleye fingerlings that are sent to ponds and lakes throughout Michigan.

The organization recently added 400,000 more.

Lee Mowbray, president of the Mason County Walleye Association has been there since the beginning. Over the past 32 years, Mowbray says the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has brought 500,000 walleye fry to be raised in their pond near Pentwater.

After six weeks, and once they’re about an inch long, the DNR net them and take them to targeted areas for stocking.

Mowbray’s daughter, Kate, is running a similar operation in East Jordan at the former wastewater ponds.

“She called me up one evening and said that I wondered if the DNR might be interested in a pond they weren’t using anymore,” Mowbray said. “They’re just raising fingerlings up to “longs,” as they call it, for the fall.”

Mowbray says in the past 11 seasons they’ve had 80% of their fry survive to the netting.

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