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!!!!

The Walleye Wagon Operations Start soon

It’s that time of year again folks….time to net some Pewaukee slob females and strip some eggs and get the hatchery cranking again!!

Walleyes in Tankstation #10 set up for WFT5 Million walleye eggs in hatchery jars

The Walleye wagon will be on site by the last weekend in March 2015. Nets are already in our hands and ready to place in the water when the temperature gets a little warmer than 40 degrees. This will typically happen around the second weekend in April, so hang on to your shorts….

Here’s a little summary of last year so you can think about timing:

Date first nets were set: 4/18/2014

Number of nets set: 4

Date last net was pulled: 4/23/2014

Total net nights: 5

Date first eggs were placed in hatchery: 4/19/2014

Date last eggs were placed in hatchery: 4/23/2014

Total estimated eggs in hatchery: 845 o.z.

Date first fry were released: May 12th, 2014

Accumulated TU’s on the date of the first hatch: 321

Estimated hatch  (success rate) : 95%

Date last fry were released: 5/13/2014

Estimated number of fry released: 3-4 Million

Accumulated TU’s date of last release: 354

Total days hatchery operation (first net set to last fry released): 26 days

Total number of fish caught: Males – 103  Females – 47

Total number of fish stripped: Males – 72  Females – 36

A job well done boys and girls….so the question becomes….can we match that this year?!

Get ready to roll them nets out….see you at the April 2nd meeting to discuss who’s on board!!!


2nd Annual WFT ICE FISHERY – FEB 21ST, 2015

2015 Ice Fishery FlyerThe 2nd annual WFT Pewaukee Chapter Ice Fishery is here!!

February 21st, 2015 at Curly’s Waterfront 7 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Prizes start with main drawing:

1st Place – 60″ Flat screen Visio Samrt T.V. (Sponsored by Curly from Curly’s Waterfront)

2nd Place – $500 bp Gift card (Sponsored by bp Pantry 41 Pewaukee Lake)

3rd Place – $300 cash or Jiffy pro 4 Propane Ice augerJiffy Pro 4 propane auger

Other Prizes to date:

  • Otter XT 1200 Portable Ice Cabin (Sponsored by Urban Manufacturing and Pewaukee Marina)
  • Another Jiffy Pro 4 Propane powered Ice Auger
  • 20 Guage double barrel shot gun
  • The Booze Wagon (Sponsored by the Pewaukee Chapter donating members)
  • Beer Tower
  • Muskie Lure Package
  • 30 rod and reel combo’s
  • beaver dam tip-up, frabil round tip-up, hole covers (Sponsored by Dick Smiths Bait and Tackle)
  • all kinds of bucket raffles, with all kings of “stuff”

Over $1,000 of Meat Raffles all day long  consisting of 4′ pork loins, prime rib, tenderloins, new York strips, YUMMY!!!

20 gua double barrel

Otter XT1200 Portable shackOtter XT1200 Cabin

Tickets can be bought the day of the event in Curly’s Waterfront.

Fishing ticket and sign up is in the Walleye Wagon right at the launch. Someone will be there just after 6:30 a.m. Fish prizes are for Northern, Bass, Perch, Bluegill, Crappie. Prizes will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd places ($30, $20, $10) with the exception of the northern pike which will be $100. A successful catch and release of the first place northern will result in a double payout ($200). Must be released by a WFT staff member. A holding pond will be prepared by the walleye wagon.

 Beer towerLure board


WFT Muskie Board


Fishery sign in at wagon


WFT Golf Package


WDNR Fall Fingerling stocking in Pewaukee 2014

The WDNR contracted with Gollons fish farm to stock 35,000 fall fingerling walleyes in Pewaukee Lake the first week of October!

WDNR Walleye stock 2014 This is one of the bigger fall fingerlings but look at the girth of that little guy. Tell me we wont have a year class coming up the pike!

DK and Ben stocking Pewaukee

I think everyone there was nothing but smiles both days. 12,000 or so went to the west launch, 12,000 went in by the Yacht club and I believe approximately 8,000 went in by Smokie’s Muskie Shop (Lakeview Blvd boat launch).

WDNR Gallons stocking eyes at west launch 2014

 Gollon’s trucks dumped in at the west launch the first day. Same day they brought some muskies!

Then they were back the next day stocking at the Yacht club.

Gollons bringing walleyes to Pewaukee


A little closer up and you can see the walleyes coming out of the pipe…

Dumping in walleyes 2014


4 Million+ Walleye Fry are in the Lake!

The Pewaukee Chapter should be proud of their first year efforts! We successfully released 4+ Million walleye fry into the lake on Mothers day and the day after, how fitting! I did fail to bring the cigars, as they would have been fitting for the situation. The crew felt like Dads and Moms as the coolers loaded with little swimming walleye fry were siphoned to their new home.

Fry release crew Manday May 12 2014

The coolers were full and the team raced out to beat the wild weather circumstances. The fry were released by siphoning them gently to the surface of the lake where the depths were 40-45 feet. This is where they will feed on zooplankton and work their way to the bottom.

Fry release day Monday May 12 2014

The next crew followed the same deep water route and worked between the rainstorms to get the fry in the water before trying to battle another long night of filter problems and pump problems.

Maybe no cigars were being smoked but there were a lot of “high fives” and tall cans of beer that followed the stocking efforts that night!


The whole process leading up to this day was an incredible amount of team work and organization. From working with the Walleye’s for Tomorrow Chairman of the Board Mike Arrowood and getting the materials and parts into place, to understanding what needed to happen, to making it all happen. This group of Pewaukee Boys came together like a “band of brothers”. Call the group a bunch of hillbillys, rednecks and fishing fools, but what these guys and gals truly are is a group of people who want to improve the environment that we enjoy and are so passionate about. The groups conservation efforts, improvements to the fisheries and habitat utilizing teamwork is simply becoming contagious.

Go to the Walleye Wagon page and see the tremendous steps, obstical’s and results of this incredible conservation effort. Take the time to think and understand the effort that was made to accomplish the release of these fry, now try to see what the WDNR has to go through to try to do the same for all the lakes in Wisconsin. Think about it the next time you keep your catch and complain that the WDNR needs to stock more fish…Maybe you should “jump on the wagon” and help be part of the solution, not the problem…catch and release my friends and help give back to the waters you take from!


I think it’s also very important to note how many kids are involved in this Pewaukee Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow conservation efforts. Whether you look at the Fish Sticks project or the walleye wagon pictures there is as many kids involved doing the work as adults, very cool. It all starts with the kids, teach them what we are doing and why and that my friends will make the difference in our future.


Congratulations to another successful project Pewaukee Chapter!

Tom Koepp – WFT Pewaukee Chapter Chair


The Walleye Wagon is Ready To Burst With Frye

It will be “All hands on deck” when these 4.5 million walleye eggs decide to hatch at the same time. These eggs will hatch and all the frye and eggshells will flow out of the hatchery and into our tanks. We will need to watch the flow very carefully 24/7 and make sure the eggshells are constantly cleaned from the filters. If not, the filters will clog and the frye will spill onto the ground. Major loss for all the hard work we’ve put in to date.

See the eggs below that have reached the “eye-up” stage.

Walleye eye-up

Since these eggs were stripped and fertilized within 2 days of each other we will probably see the hatch do the same thing. The eggs are supposed to start hatching based on rise in temperature. This temperature change are called DTU’s (Daily Temperature Units). On May 5th, 2014 we have reached 210 DTU’S. If we do the math based on the law of ratios and averages, we can expect to reach 300 DTU’s this Saturday May 10th, 2014.

Scientist Bob E We are watching pumps, flow, temperatures in and outside, checking eggs for clumping and potential fungus, removing dead eggs, cleaning filters daily to assure we have a successful hatchery in our first year of operation.

I will be putting together a spreadsheet and hanging it in the hatchery so people can write down the times they can volunteer for helping with the hatch of the frye and the cleaning of filters.

To read more about the whole process to date, go to the Walleye Wagon page on the Pewaukee Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow’s website.

For more information on becoming a member or Sponsor contact Tom Koepp – Pewaukee Chapter Chairman at (414) 333-9306 or email me at thkoepp@wi.rr.com








1st “Fish Sticks” Project in SE Wisconsin

Here’s a link to the latest article regarding our Fish sticks project

WDNR Wood in the Water article


I grabbed some underwater photos of the Fish Sticks project on March 11th, 2015 under the ice. I probably scared the fish away drilling holes as I didn’t have time to drill and come back. But photos were a success and it really looks good down there. The crew should be proud of their hard work. Here are the photo’s:

Fish sticks 2015 FFish sticks 2015 EFish sticks 2015 D






Fish sticks 2015 CFish sticks 2015 A Fish sticks 2015 B

The Pewaukee Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow knocks out the first fish sticks project in SE Wisconsin. The “Woody Structures” provide critical habitat for all species of life in the food chain of a lakes ecosystem. The bottom of the logs can hold thousands of invertebrates feeding on the wood. The small fish feed on the invertebrates and the larger fish on the smaller fish. The wood provides shore protection and habitat above the water for insects, turtles, wood ducks, and birds as well.


Morning fish sticks crew

The morning crew move into the project area

Dragging trees to the site

Dragging trees to the site

Fish sticks crew moving first trees in

The crew places the first trees


For more information on the latest Pewaukee Fish Sticks Project see the JS Online article below.

JS Online Fish Sticks project WFT Pewaukee Chapter