Colorado Fisherman Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Today I enjoyed the Cherry Creek walleye spawn as a 1st time volunteer. I'm guessing we pulled about 200 eyes from the gill nets. Several were 10-15 pounds. I asked one biologist why walleye, for the most part, are unsuccessful with natural reproduction in Colorado. I said, "is it the fluctuating water levels or the lack of big river systems". He said, "water quality". He went on to explain how Chatfield, Cherry Creek, and Pueblo have too much silt/sediment, which prevents a pure water pathway & clear bottom for the eggs and milt to meet (in a 90 second window of fertility after spewing out). Then, he surprised me by stating Carter & Horsetooth have sufficient water quality for natural reproduction without stocking efforts, and even stated they don't get stocked there. I should have asked about Aurora. Does anyone know if Aurora walleye are a self sustaining population?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
Today I enjoyed the Cherry Creek walleye spawn as a 1st time volunteer. Does anyone know if Aurora walleye are a self sustaining population?
Pretty cool isn't it? Amazing what the nets get and 99.9% of fishermen miss.

I did an interview with the Fisheries Biologist from the south in 2009 and asked the same question. If I recall, they said there is natural "recruitment" (their term) in most lakes but it is so small and insignificant that stocking needs to occur to keep populations up...exclusions are as you noted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,547 Posts
Silt is the culprit, as your DOW person indicated. Turbidity due to suspended particulate, as opposed to organic matter, is the problem. Secchi disks only tell part of the story. I know of one pond in the Denver area that has 100% natural reproduction, and the water CLARITY is about the same as Chattfield.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,176 Posts
Silt may be the culprit...but they also just aren't going to leave anything to chance. They've become very efficient at producing walleyes. They cost very little to rear...they can basically survey a lake with their spawn capture nets and easily control the numbers stocked...not counting the added bonus of being able to trade eggs for other species...

Got to give them a hand. They are great at producing mushy white fleshed fish...as well as these tasty firm white fleshed fish.

I think it's great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
Fishaholic,

Great information! How can I volunteer for such events? I have been looking for ways to volunteer my time and I cannot imagine a better way to do it.

Thanks for the pictures,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Today I enjoyed the Cherry Creek walleye spawn as a 1st time volunteer. I'm guessing we pulled about 200 eyes from the gill nets. Several were 10-15 pounds. I asked one biologist why walleye, for the most part, are unsuccessful with natural reproduction in Colorado. I said, "is it the fluctuating water levels or the lack of big river systems". He said, "water quality". He went on to explain how Chatfield, Cherry Creek, and Pueblo have too much silt/sediment, which prevents a pure water pathway & clear bottom for the eggs and milt to meet (in a 90 second window of fertility after spewing out). Then, he surprised me by stating Carter & Horsetooth have sufficient water quality for natural reproduction without stocking efforts, and even stated they don't get stocked there. I should have asked about Aurora. Does anyone know if Aurora walleye are a self sustaining population?

No, they do not reproduce in Aurora. Wish they did, but they don't
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Carter, Horsetooth and McPhee (where the eye's were never stocked) sustain naturally reproducing walleyes.

There is also a spawning operation at Pueblo. From the sounds of it, they are getting good numbers of eggs at all 3 locations.

Dakota- It takes some searching, but the volunteer opportunities are on the CPW web site. Its a pretty cool operation to be a part of, just have to be persistent in getting through to CPW volunteer coordinators, they are all swamped and there is only 4 statewide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,542 Posts
They need silt free water and areas with small cobble sized rock that get current from waves to hatch. I think one of the things that all the places that have natural reproduction have in common is they keep their water past the spawn also! By the time they start drawing down those places the eggs have already hatched. That is why the DOW prefers to stock Saugeye in most pits and ponds, because they know how well walleye's reproduce in those environments!

I actually wouldn't be surprised if there is some limited reproduction in Aurora? There are to many eye's in there right now given the forage available to them? There are no shad in there. I am catching a lot of really thin males there!!! I got a 20" male last night that wasn't worth keeping it was so thin!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top