WFT PEWAUKEE CHAPTER RECIEVES ANOTHER AWARD

I try to not send too many emails or post too much but I have to do this one as you all should hear it and be proud of what you have accomplished, whether your helping by being a Sponsor, a working member, a financially supporting member…or even just a friend or relative giving members “an attaboy…”

At last night’s meeting at NIP’s Irish Pub we had about 55 members present and the WDNR Bureau of Fisheries Management presented the Pewaukee Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow an “EXTERNAL PARTNER AWARD”.


The words of accomplishment spoken by Todd Kalish the Deputy Bureau Director were very detailed such as: “Running the Walleye Wagon”, “Implementing the Fish Sticks Projects”, “Kids Fishing Clinics”, “The Big Ice Fishery”, “Rough Fish Removal”, “Catch and Release Award Program”. and the “Installation of 9 Fish Cribs”… He went on to say that although the fish sticks are more beneficial as wood in the water, when you install large numbers of fish cribs they are not fish kill structures, they are woody structure’s and good for the ecology of the lake. He then went on about our planning of the Meadowbrook stream restoration and habitat improvement project… He said that there are a few items they look for to honor a group and we not only met them, but we “exceeded them on all levels”. He said “Our group is being recognized around the state and we have established “the bar” that others are trying to follow…. what we have achieved in such a short time is incredible”.

Ben Huessner (WDNR Fisheries Biologist) then presented the net survey results and what the electroshocking is showing us – There is an Improvement in gamefish predators in size and numbers (Muskie, Pike and Walleyes), which in turn knocks down the over-abundance of pan fish, which in turn is showing an improvement in pan fish size. Adding woody habitat provides a smorgasbord of food for invertebrates which feed on algae, small fish feed on algae, microorganisms, the bugs and critters on the wood. Feeding on invertebrates and insects greatly improves growth rates of the young of the year (baby , pike, pan fish, etc.). Utilizing the algae decreases the potential of algae blooms….in essence we are helping the entire ecology of the lake.

SOOOOOO….I scanned the first award “Certificate of Commendation” from the Bureau of Fisheries Management and Law Enforcement that we received in 2015 and the latest “External Partner Award” award from the WDNR Fisheries in 2018 so any member could print it off and get a frame and hang it in your cabin, garage, boat house, living room or office….you should be proud, you earned it!

Thanks for the hard work, putting up with each other’s crap and differences of opinions and staying unified and Gettin’ er’ done!

Tom Koepp
Walleyes for Tomorrow
Pewaukee Chapter Chairman

Wally Wagon Time – nets are out

Well the nets are repaired thanks to Captain Keith organizing a few people and trips down to the WDNR office.

The nets are now out and the fish are there, but as usual Mother nature doesn’t know how to “let go” of winter.

We started with 41 degree water after ice out and our reading today was 36.5 degrees. On the flip side the walleye numbers are there. The WDNR is doing their full fish comprehensive survey so we are fortunate that they are grabbing the ripe females and processing them for eggs. We actually have a half a jar already. Ice cold down there today, tubs frozen…

I stop down to check on the eggs and pumps at 6:30 a.m. in the snow and freezing temps (18 degrees) and happy to see there is always 1 constant in this grueling process…it’s the Walleye Wagon chief Jim Schmitz, always there, always taking care of the eggs despite weather, despite other obligations…you are Da Man Jimmy!!

Here’s our babies, note the temperature guage of the water as well….yikes

Anyway for anyone interested….we have been getting a consistent 100+ walleyes in our nets every day. Yesterday, April 3rd – there were 150 Walleyes, 15 Muskies and about a dozen pike . Needless to say the WDNR backs are sore and fingers are froze. Glad they are running the nets and we get a little brake…2 females were ready to share their “liquid gold” eggs.

Stay tuned and watch for the crazy facebook addicts to post more. Otherwise stop down at the Walleye Wagon anytime after 4 p.m. in the 2nd and 3rd week of April or so as that will be when the wagons full and the hatching begins…

The 5th Annual Walleyes for Tomorrow Ice Fishery is February 17th, 2018 at Curly’s Waterfront

Mark Your Calendars….The 5th annual Walleye’s for Tomorrow Ice Fishery is at Curly’s Waterfront. Meat raffles all day…65″ flat screen 4K t.v, pistol, 2 Jiffy Propane power augers, Otter cabin portable shanty, too much to list…look at the happy faces from last year…

Ice Fishery a Success!, Cribs a success!!….Wally Wagon time…

 

The 2017 Ice Fishery was a success dispite the warm weather and ice deteriorating quickly! Thank you to all the donors and volunteers, you made this a great success. See events page for more detailed info.

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The cribs all dropped in within days of our Ice fishery. The last crib dropped on February 20th, 2017 11:00 a.m. For more phtotos and some short videos go the FISH CRIBS page.

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The Wally wagon has been moved to it’s location for the hatchery operations on Rocky Point. We will start taking water temperatures, shinning the shallow water for males moving in as well as getting the nets and boats ready to go. If this weather keeps up this is going to be a really, really early year and probably a long hatch process…its going to be all hands on deck shortly. Any and all are welcome to join us in this big operation.

station #10 set up for WFT

The Grainger Foundation Comes Up Big for the Pewaukee Chapter – $5,000 Grant

grainger-foundation-grant-11102016The Grainger foundation heard some “whining about the volunteers wrecking their own waders” while running the walleye netting operations and while operating the walleye wagon. We also discussed the upcoming fish sticks projects and fish crib projects which will need lots of rock, cable, chain saws, gas, oil and some hard labor in brutal weather conditions. Tim Giese who works at Grainger heard it from Jeff Giese who is buddies with WFT Pewaukee Chapter Tom Perdzock. Word of mouth travels fast….as soon as I caught wind, I started the “whining process”…LOL

Anyway, for the core group that ran the nets, it wasn’t pleasant on opening day of duck hunting having your waders fill up with cold water. Yes part of volunteering is the sacrificing, but this just seemed to be crossing the line. Then if you went and spend $250 on new waders you may have got an earful from your wife like I did…..

O.K. so what if a good company supported getting some quality waders to keep in the walleye wagon? Situation resolved!! Grainger comes through big! The Grainger Foundation presented the check for $5,000 to the Pewaukee Chapter on Thursday, November 19th, 2016. Thank You all of being vocal and sharing our efforts and looking for support.

We once again won’t have to look toward the father organization to support our projects. I’m looking forward to getting the fish sticks and crib projects done this winter. I met with Ben (WDNR) and we have 2 sites chosen for fish sticks and some crib locations determined. Time to get the permits going. I have about 15 trees and Keith Landers and Frannk Yurchich identified potential sources. We will follow up….

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, shoot straight, be safe….see you at the December meeting!

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

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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.

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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

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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