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Walleye opener review.

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From every indication the walleye fishing inland opener on both the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers on Saturday 4/25/09 was on FIRE. The river had more boats on it this opener then it has in years. A one hour wait to launch and a 2 hour wait to pull out was one of my buddies statements to me on the phone Saturday evening. And he himself, limited in 1 hour and 10 minutes. I was also told by him that one of my favorite holes just above the center street ramp had 28 boats in it all by itself. And that there seemed to be many more female holdovers in both river systems then ever before, with spent fish being caught up to 27 inches long. This of course is not the usual norm for this time of year, when historically most of the females would already be gone from the tributary and on their way back to the bay, with the males being the majority of fish caught. This wind fall catching bonanza was short lived though, when we got a massive amount of rain on Saturday afternoon and through the night. The flow rates on the Tittabawassee went from 2000 CFPS to 7000 CFPS in just 12 hours. With some of the other tributaries flowing into the Saginaw rising beyond their own flow chart scales. All this, with our new walleye fisheries now depending on the natural reproduction in these rivers, lead me to ask my DNR biologist buddy a question, and get his own thoughts about just what this flood this early in the spawning season would mean to the ripening eggs and the spawning time table. That question and his answer below. Be safe, fish smart and tight lines. Capt. Dan.

Question: To my DNR Bud.

I your opinion. What impact do you think this flood we're having, so soon after the walleye spawn will have on next years brood stocks. With your experience with spawning cycles, what chances for success or failure (because of these flooding conditions) would you put the chances for the eggs just laid in the Tittabawassee? I know from books that walleyes prefer to broadcast their eggs over baseball size rocks. Will most of these now smother from the sand, mud and debris covering them up during this flood stage? Dan.



Generally flood events are not good for the walleye hatch. Yes the eggs can get dislodged and relocated to undesirable substrate or (maybe more likely) they can get smothered by sediment. Both are real risks, but given that its late April, a lot of the eggs may already be hatching and maybe beat the flood. I guess we'll know more after this coming falls trawl results.

Edited by Walleye Express
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