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Hatchery to raise Walleye bigger before release

WOODRUFF, Wis. (WXPR) - DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp stopped by the Art Oemcke Fish Hatchery in Woodruff Friday to highlight an effort to get more young walleyes in area lakes. The recently-passed state budget included money to enable hatcheries to keep walleye fry longer...and get them bigger...to increase the number of survivable fish in the waters. Critical to keeping the fish longer was providing funding for fish food. Overall, $8.2 million dollars was invested in DNR fish hatcheries. More than 2 million dollars in enhancements and more than $2 million in repairs is planned at the Woodruff facility says Stepp. “We know it's going to be more successful the larger the fish is, that's common sense. Again, this particular hatchery is looking at doubling its production of walleyes."

Bureau Director Mike Staggs says it will take a few more months to get the fish to the six-to-eight inch range, increasing the possibility of survival.

The walleye production will increase at Woodruff from nearly 43,000 fingerlings to 75,000 in years 2013 and 2014.