This was a good year for raising walleyes at the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery — a record-setter in terms of the number of walleyes stocked in North Dakota lakes.
Thanks to new pond liners at the hatchery and some weather-related issues, more than 11 million walleyes were stocked in state lakes this year, a record for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's hatchery at the dam and the Game and Fish Department for years have worked in harmony to grow multiple species for not only North Dakota lakes, but for other states as well.
Rob Holm, hatchery manager, said the biggest change that has resulted in increased production has been the installation of new pond liners.One wonders if these new liners are/were related in any way to the liners operators use on pads for waste pits.
Holm said in 2009, the last of the old clay-lined, sand-bottomed rearing ponds at the hatchery were retro-fitted with 40-mil polyethylene liners.
He said the new liners, at a cost of about $90,000 apiece, have increased the efficiency of how the hatchery is able to raise not only walleyes, but other species of fish in a number of ways.So, how successful was the effort this year?
This year's 9.7 million walleyes produced at the hatchery is third on the list for all-time production.
Two years ago the record of 10 million was set and last year that number was 9.9 million.