ND Outdoors: Logan County fishery prepares for winter

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 7:33 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel trapped and relocated several thousand walleyes from a Logan County fishery due to dry conditions and potential winterkill.

“In years with abundant precipitation, the Wentz Waterfowl Production Area has enough water to support year-round survival of our walleye. And we’ve aggressively stocked the Wentz Waterfowl Production Area in 2019 and 2020 due to the ability of that lake to support walleye at that time. And it’s got quite a few walleye in it that are doing fairly well right now,” said Paul Bailey, ND Game and Fish Fisheries Supervisor.

Wentz WPA still has plenty of walleyes for ice anglers to target this winter.

“We’re taking a very small portion of the walleye from the Wentz Waterfowl Production Area and, honestly, the walleye population in Wentz is going to be one of the places I plan to hit early this ice fishing season, too, as soon as conditions allow. So they’ll still be good angling opportunity in Wentz,” said Bailey.

Bailey says Mother Nature will ultimately determine if the lake makes it through the winter.

“Unfortunately, due to the drought we’re experiencing, the Wentz Waterfowl Production Area is down to a maximum depth of about 8 feet of water. Now, that doesn’t guarantee we’re going to have a winterkill this year, but it definitely increases the probability of that occurring,” said Bailey.

Biologists are taking advantage of the adult Wentz walleyes and stocking them into lakes where they haven’t had good walleye fingerling stocking success in recent years because of the abundant perch populations.

“One of our primary destinations for these fish will be Rice Lake in Emmons County. A very popular good long-term fishery where we have struggled to have good stocking success in recent years with our stocked hatchery walleye. We are stocking a few of these fish in potentially Braun Lake closer to Napoleon, and then a few lakes in northern Kidder County as well, Jasper and Josephine,” said Bailey.

Updated stocking reports are available by accessing the fishing link on the Game and Fish website.

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