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Walleye stocking the Niagara River ~ An Outdoors Niagara Exclusive!   

Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum)

     Only on Outdoors Niagara!

By Mark Daul

11,600 walleye stocked in Lower Niagara River - June

Although 11,600 this is not a record number, nonetheless, fishermen ought to be excited. With the threat of VHS virus [Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS)]  shunting this kind of stocking in New York State, our Department of Environmental Conservation is doing everything it can and continue stocking of walleye all around the state. [Other species too, salmon, trout, etc.]  These walleyes were all tested for the VHS virus before stocking and were all deemed  to be safe.

This year, the stocked fish that were "born" at the Oneida Lake fish station in Constantia N.Y., the small baby fry were then transported to be released at Chautauqua  fish hatchery. There they were raised  to the size seen in the photos below. [about 1 1/2 inches] They were lovingly transported by Ron, in the DEC truck pictured below, and carefully place in the Lower Niagara with the help of Mike George, Mike Fox and Mark Daul.

Mike Wilkinson, [pictured] Chief  DEC Region 9 Biologist oversaw the stocking and and worked his hiney off to make sure this stocking was done the way it should be. The photos below show Wilkinson in the water directing the flow of the "babies" from the pipe. He reminded me of the conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic. 

Wilkinson has worked hard for the fishermen in Region 9 and was there 90% of the time for spring stocking, he is always there first and first with hands on, and last to leave. Look through this website and you will find Wilkinson doing what he does in the salmon/trout stocking efforts. eg: [Wilson Steelies]  [Wilson Salmon]

Ron, the DEC truck driver/transporter/ hatchery clientele, told us these 11,600 babes were part of 300,000 that were put in the ponds at Chautauqua  as fry and to be raised to this 1 1/2 inches and then released around the State. Many lakes saw an injection this year. We were told all regions were clamoring for their share and most got a share. Ron also told us the success rate for raising these fish from the 300,000 was 50%! Pretty good going !

Helpers & onlookers were Mike Fox, Mike George & Mark Daul.

There will be more information about the history of Lower Niagara River walleye stocking and pictures posted here on this website shortly so keep your eyes out for it.

Click the pics for enlargement

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Precious cargo
Down the ramp

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Getting close to the water

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Ron opening the hatches

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Mike Fox handling the pail with the first sample for health inspection 

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Here's what was in the pail

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Close-up of pail contents. Look at the pollywogs!

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Ron opening the hatch for the main "dump"

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Get ready Mike!

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Here they come!

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Here they are!

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All fish were released in super great condition and were released in an area where quick coverage could be used under the dock and quickly into the nearby weed beds. NO attention was drawn by the seagulls, NOR the cormorants
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus is a serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish that is causing an emerging disease in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. VHS virus is a rhabdovirus (rod shaped virus) that affects fish of all size and age ranges. It does not pose any threat to human health. Go Here to learn more

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