Walleye “Fall Fingerling” Stocking – 2016

As promised Ben Huessner from the WDNR came through with the 37,000 fall fingerling

walleye’s that were slated for Pewaukee lake in 2016.

Check out this video –

ben-and-gllons-stockingThose of you that have been following the Pewaukee Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow know the group has run the Walleye Wagon the last 3 years adding 3-4 million walleye fry to the lake each year. With all this steady hard work and nagging the WDNR for establishing a year class of new walleyes we are finally really starting to see the fruits of our labor. Ben was recently doing the elctro-shocking and he confirmed many 12-14″ walleyes which are in the shallows putting on their winter weight. These are the 2014 walleyes that either the WDNR stocked or they are our fry from the 2014 walleye wagon efforts….who cares, they are healthy and looking really good.

Gollons bait brought the fish this October and Ben did some sampling of the size. He also took quite a few fin clippings to use for determining strain and future reference when we net these fish for the walleye wagon or the WDNR net them during their fish surveys.

2016-walleye-stockingFirst Ben grabs a bucket of “sample fish”, then he measures the fingerlings. Then he grabs a fin sample and sends him into the drink to their new home.ben-with-walleye-sample





High Lake Temps Stress Fish

Pewaukee Fishermen and true conservationists – The Lake Temperatures are very hard on fish…here’s the scientific data and some words for thought…

When lake temperatures reach 80 degrees it puts great stree on to the fish. The big lake (West Basoin) is 80 degrees down to the thermocline. At the thermocline the fish seek the cooler “quick change” of temperature. However the D.O. (Disolved Oxygen” level is so low it isn’t all usable oxygen and the fish are stressed even though they try to beat the heat.

As the D.O. level gets below 3 mg/l they begin to die. When shallow lakes like the east basin reach this 80 degrees they also stress fish as there is no cooler water refuge. Although we are fortunate enough to have a cold water creek and some natural springs, they are barely flowing so the fish do not have a “safe zone”.  in shallow basins the fishes respiration exceeds the photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is where aquatic plants change carbon dioxide into oxygen through the green leaves and the sunlight. However this doesn’t happen at night and as the oxygen gets used up by the aquatic species, the oxygen released by the plants isn’t enough for the fish. Fortunately we do have a lot of aquatic plants to help produce oxygen. If we can hang on long enough to avoid an algea bloom we be o.k. as long as some cool weather comes along. If an algea bloom hit, the shallow lake would turn colors and not let the sunlight hit the bottom. This in turn cuts off the oxygen production and leads to the big fish kills as seen on Muskego and Koshkongon in 2012 per Ben Huessner our areas fish biologist from the WDNR.

53 and a half inch Muskie

So what can we do? Well if we let the fish be we are doing our part.

To the fishermen that I haven’t seen trolling or casting for Muskies on Pewaukee, how cool is this….that Pewaukee’s finest fishermen respect our fisheries so much that they are protecting the fishery for their future as well as the future generations. From a water quality standpoint Pewaukee Lake is the best it has been for 40 years. With the help of the WDNR, WFT Pewaukee Chapter and the people really practicing good catch and release – the fishery is improving drastically, it is highly respected and it is well on its way to being the best it has ever been.

Dead Muskie 07192016

As far as fishing in the heat….make your own decisions, it is your right.

Thank you for being leaders in conservation….it is recognized, respected and it’s getting contagious!

Lake Temps July 2016

Pewaukee Lake Sanitary District records temperatures, Disolved Oxygen, salinity and other water quality data every Wednesday during the Spring, Summer and Fall. We also take secchi disc readings to record water clarity.

All this information is utilized in determining the best management practices to keep a healthy ecosystem.


Looking forward to cooler temperatures and tight fishing lines….soon











The Wally Wagon is fired up again – come check it out!!

Jims first jars of 2016

Jims first jars of 2016

04042016 Nets Jim Bob Dakota

Little eyes 04062016 Spawned out female 04042016 Netting 04062016 Frank milking 04062016The Walleye wagon is on site at W279 N2865 Rocky Point road and we just started filling the wagon with eggs on April 6th, 2016. I’d expect to be netting for 5-7 days and filling it up with our new babies.

All are welcome to check out this fantastic ordeal.

Our first catch were a pair of 27 inch walleyes, one was spawned out as can be seen in this photo and was was “ready to go”, the next day all nets were put in with an additional two to maximize our efforts.

Emptying nets, milking fish, adding the milt, mixing, and prepping for the jars will go on for a week or so. Then we watch the development of our fry for typically around 22 days. To read more go to the Walleye Wagon page and read all about last year, good info…The Walleye Wagon Operation


2016 ICE FISHERY A SUCCESS – Lots of Winners

IMG_1746 IMG_1748 IMG_1745 IMG_1744 IMG_1733 IMG_1732 IMG_1730 IMG_1725 IMG_1724 IMG_1723 IMG_1722 IMG_1720 IMG_1752The February 20th, 2016 Pewaukee Chapter Ice Fishery was a huge success. Probably 200-300 people attended the event and a good time was had by all. Great prizes were won, nice fish were caught, handled with care and released successfully. A win-win for everyone!! See the happy faces of some guys who won some really nice stuff. The funds received could only have happened by the generous donations of our Sponsors, the club members and the people who joined in the fun. Thank You for your support!

The fundraiser’s success will go right back into the very waters we are trying to preserve, protect and enhance so the walleye fisheries can bounce back and provide enjoyment to us and our future generations!!

Thanks again from Tom Koepp and the entire crew of Members and Sponsors of the Pewaukee Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow!


Go to the “events page” tab  for more information!!

Follow the link below:

WFT Event Page                         Catch and Release program – see photo gallery

Walleye Catch and Release photos

2016 ICE FISHERY FLYERThe catch and release program offers any WFT member a free fish fry upon catching and releasing a legal walleye. It also puts them into the end of the winter raffle for a chance to win a double barrel shot gun, a beaver dam tip-up, and other prizes…even another fish fry. So please the old saying – let em’ go and let em’ grow is even more important in Pewaukee as we need to keep these “spawners” in the lake to supply our walleye wagon (portable fish hatchery) with eggs and milt to continue the stocking efforts. We are in a critical stage of re-establishing the walleye population in this lake and you can help us!

To become a member simply download the membership form, fill it out write a check for $25 and your in. Members can be involved at any level they want.

Go to: Membership Tab

Walleye Wagon is a huge success again in 2015

The hatchery knocked out another 4.5 million fry which were released into the lake in the spring of 2015. The crews had perfect weather with winds creating “upwellings” or better known as “chum lines” which the fry were released into giving them the nearby food they need to start their survival process. For more info on the Walleye Wagon go to the Walleye Wagon page on this website.

Final release day 2015 Fry release 2015












Jars 1-4 showed the eye up stage for a several days before hatching on the weekend of April 25th just as forecasted on the “help list calendar”.









Some of the fry have had “helmet head” as knick-named by the WDNR fisheries for fry that are reaching the proper temperature units for hatching but slowed by cold weather changes, they tend to be sort of “stalling” the process. Some of the fry get the egg shell stuck on their heads which can lead to their death. At a regular hatchery the WDNR may increase the water temperatures slightly to promote the hatch but at our portable hatchery we can’t add warm water then expect them to transition to the cold lake. Fortunately this weeks weather forecast is very favorable and mother nature will help the process naturally. As expected our jars to started to pop like popcorn, just as we forecasted, perfect timing to get the eggs through the hatching process.

If you want to witness this outstanding process, mark this timing down for next year in 2016 and stop in at the Walleye wagon before the hatch starts to verify forecasted hatch dates.

Walleye fry hatching








If you want to see the release process it will be 3 days after the hatching so for example in 2015 it was by May 3-5th. If you don’t know where we are located at W279 N2865 Rocky Point Road or call Tom at 414-333-9603 for directions.

To see the latest article about the Pewaukee Chapter’s Walleye Wagon efforts in 2015 see the “In the News page” or see the T.V. interview – CBS 58 Story on Walleyes or Tomorrow – Pewaukee Lake Chapters “Walleye Wagon” efforts: http://www.cbs58.com/story/29018501/volunteer-group-helping-pewaukee-lake-walleye-population-bounce-back

or in the Wisconsin Game Warden Magazine go to:




Nets have been cranking out fish….and we have a full hatchery, thanks to a lot of hard work by a high quality group of people who care about the fisheries and the overall health of Pewaukee Lake!!!

Nets were acquired from the WDNR to assure we had enough and we had them in time. The early net crew didn’t waste any time getting a “test net” out to check the status of the walleye spawn. Keith Landers volunteered his boat and pursued to lead the group charge as ripe females were appearing as early as April 6th, 2015?!!!


While lots of “chatter” was flying about between members and other folks about being the only lake in Wisconsin having ripe fish, the crew didn’t slow down for a second besides a storm slamming through…

As the weekend approached the crews were in process of filling the 3rd Jar of eggs.

With Sunday April 12th being a big day ….

2015 Hatchery eggs

Then a slow taper leading to a struggle of one jar a day till April 16th being the last “net day”.

A full hatchery with an estimate of 7,060,000 eggs. This count will go down due to natural processes such as lack of fertilization, or other health related issues. Below is a typical net of Pewaukee fish.

A Net full of quality Pewaukee fish

Here is a tank of nice spawning Pewaukee Walleyes waiting to be milked…

2015 fyke net walleyes

Then there’s the milking action and fertilizing that was done by several of the crew this year – Frank Yurchich, Scott Czechan, Jim Schmitz, Keith Landers and myself…My favorite part is fertilizing…


Here is what the hatchery to Jars look like to date, we need to run and get some tanks ready for a hatch so more pictures to follow…

Hatchery eggs 04212015


Eggs are getting close to “eye-up” as of April 20th, 2015


Stop in at the hatchery and check out this process….the Last week of April we need all hands on deck as the hatch will be underway!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!