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Tuesday, January 30 • 8:00am - 8:20am
WALLEYE & PERCH: The “Tails” That Walleye Tell: The History of Walleye Management in Nebraska Reservoirs

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AUTHORS. Melissa Wuellner, University of Nebraska - Kearney; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Brett Miller, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

ABSTRACT. Due to their popularity among anglers across their native range, Walleye Sander vitreus have been heavily managed through stocking (of Walleye and prey), harvest regulation, and habitat restorations. However, many states continue to see declines in Walleye populations despite these efforts. Similar declines have been noted in Nebraska, particularly in reservoirs that provide most of the recreational fishing hours in the state. Both Harlan County Reservoir and Lake McConaughy, two important Walleye fisheries in Nebraska, were stocked with Walleye for a few years immediately following creation of these reservoirs, but limited stocking occurred for the next 20 – 30 years as natural recruitment supported self-sustaining fisheries during most years. Since the late 1980s, however, stocking of Walleyes has occurred nearly every year as natural recruitment declined. In recent years, stocking has contributed 70 – 90% of year classes, and stocked individuals grow relatively fast. Previous research has focused on identifying the factors that influence adult Walleye relative abundance in these stocked systems. In this presentation, we will present the history of Walleye management in Harlan County Reservoir and Lake McConaughy and of research that has advanced our understanding on the dynamics of Walleye recruitment in these systems.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am CST