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DNR's walleye egg collection begins Thursday on Muskegon River

Anglers should be on the lookout for DNR personnel collecting eggs below Croton Dam this spring.
Credit: 13 On Your Side

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced this week they will be collecting walleye eggs on the Muskegon River beginning Thursday.

Muskegon River anglers should be on the lookout for Michigan Department of Natural Resources personnel collecting walleye eggs below Croton Dam throughout spring.

Electrofishing boats will be on the water this week, starting Thursday, March 25, and work should conclude by April 16.

The DNR asks the public to use caution when fishing near the electrofishing boats. Anyone wading nearby when boats approach will be asked to exit the water to ensure everyone's safety. 

Anglers can still fish downstream to avoid the collection activities.

To maintain effective social distancing and allow fisheries staff to safely, efficiently collect eggs, the DNR also asks people not to gather at egg collection sites. 

"The annual Muskegon River egg take is a critical operation for statewide walleye management," said Jim Dexter, DNR Fisheries Division chief. "We're planning to collect about 32 million walleye eggs during this effort." 

That collection will result in fry (fish that have just hatched) for transfer to rearing ponds and direct fry plants throughout the Lower Peninsula. Walleye fry transferred to ponds will be raised to fingerling size (approximately 1.5 to 2.5 inches) and stocked in late spring or early summer in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Three to four days of fish collections are planned this spring. The date those collections will begin depends on water temperatures and the presence of ripe fish. This schedule can change daily for many reasons, but it is anticipated most work will be completed from the last week of March through the second week of April. 

Walleye collection usually begins at Croton Dam each day about 8:30 a.m. and proceeds downstream to the Pine Street access Site. If more eggs are needed, additional collections may occur downstream to the Thornapple Street access site.

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