What started out as a little gig to help the walleye population is now a list of 260 members and 30 Sponsors and the biggest Ice Fishery on the Lake!!! Go to the event page and see the list of items being raffled….
The 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!
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 –
Those 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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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
The 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
The 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
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.
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.
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 ….
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.
Here is a tank of nice spawning Pewaukee Walleyes waiting to be milked…
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…
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!!!!
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!!
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!!!