Walleye Tagging Continues at Devils Lake

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Devil's Lake, N.D. WalleyeNorth Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently tagged 1,000 walleye at Devils Lake. Randy Hiltner, northeast district fisheries supervisor, said the popular fishery is in the second year of a three-year tagging project.

“The project involves tagging 1,000 walleye each spring,” Hiltner said. “This allows us to gather information on walleye movements, total fish mortality between years, angling mortality rates and differences in mortality rates between sexes.”

Anglers who catch a tagged fish are asked to report it. “It is very important,” Hiltner said. “More information leads to sound management.”

However, Hiltner mentioned, it doesn’t mean these fish have to be kept. “Anglers should treat these tagged walleye like any other catch,” he said. “If you normally would release the fish, then do so.”

Tags from this year are yellow – while last year’s were orange – and are attached by wire to the top of the fish. The tag does not need to be sent in, just the information: tag number, kept or released, date caught, length, location, and angler’s name and address.

Tagged fish information can be reported by several methods. Anglers are encouraged to report tagged fish online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Also, tag return cards can be filled out at bait shops around the lake, or anglers can bring in the information or call the Devils Lake Game and Fish office at 662-3617.

A follow-up letter will be sent to the angler with information such as when and where the fish was tagged, and fish length at the time it was tagged.