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Fish stocking is going well this spring in South Dakota

SYLVAN LAKE — State fishery crews had a successful spring collecting eggs for South Dakota's stocking program, Will Sayler said Friday.

Sayler is the fisheries administrator for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

Crews gathered 147 million walleye eggs from waters in the northeast region, Sayler said. The goal was 114 million.

"They're incubating at Blue Dog hatchery right now," he said.

Sayler presented a report to the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission.

GF&P stocks a variety of sizes of young walleyes, from fry that are the size of a pencil tip, to small fingerlings as long as a dime, to large fingerlings.

He said 500,000 walleye fry have already been stocked this spring.

Walleye fry also are placed in rearing ponds and allowed to grow for much of the year.

"Those fish can be from six to 10 inches," Sayler said. "They work very well in some of our lakes."

The department also stocks perch, Chinook salmon and trout in various waters.

South Dakota used salmon eggs from North Dakota last year. The low smelt population in Lake Oahe has crimped South Dakota salmon spawning.

About 2 million perch eggs have been collected this spring. The target is about 40 million. Sayler said fishery staff will trap and transfer perch between lakes if necessary.

Rush Lake, Lynn Lake, Swan Lake and Indian Springs are waters that were used for collecting walleye eggs this spring. "They're really incredible right now," he said.