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MAZINAIGANPAGE10WINTER2013-2014LarvallampreystudyContinuedfrompage9INLANDFISHERIESLacCourteOreillesReservationWis.TheSpearandReleaseprogramattheLacCourteOreillesLCOOjibweSchoolsuccessfullyconcludedthisfallwiththereleaseofseveralhundredextendedgrowthwalleyebackintoLakeLacCourteOreilles.ThatisthelakewherethreestudentswithinstructorsspenttheeveningofMay15spearingogaawalleyelastspring.OncefishwerecreeledatthelandingstudentsandteacherscollectedandfertilizedtheeggsfromfourfemaleogaaandbroughtthemintotheLacCourteOreillesHighSchoolScienceclassroomjusthoursaftertheogaawerespeared.Thedelicateeggswereplacedinanincubatorconsistingofanaquariumaholdingbasketandawaterchillerthatkeptthetemperatureataconstant38degrees.Asthestudyprogressedthestudentsweretaskedwithmeasuringcollectingdataandinterpretingthedata.Upontakingwaterqualitysamplesthestudentswereabletomakeappropriateadjustmentsifneeded.Inordertoreplicatethewarmingofalaketheaquariumwatertemperaturewasallowedtowarmbyafewdegreesuntiltheeggsbegantohatch.LCOFish-eryBiologistPaulChristelestimatedthat20000fryhadhatchedfromtheeggs.ThefrywerereleasedtoChristelandtheLCOFishHatcheryonJune7tobegrowntofingerlingsizeoverthesummer.ThefirstweekofOctoberseveralhundredfingerlingsaveraging7.76incheswerereturnedtotheirpointoforiginBigLakeLacCourteOreilles.TheSpearandRe-leaseprojectispartofanongoingcurriculumattheLacCourteOreillesK12schoolsthatbringstradition-alOjibweknowledgeintothemainstreamclassroomstatesJasonBisonetteacurriculumdeveloperfortheschool.WithOjibweknowledgeandtraditionsasourfoundationourstudentscansuccessfullylearntowalkinbothworlds.SuspendedgillnetsurveyAjointeffortonMilleLacsLakeThefallgillnetassessmentconductedbytheMinnesotaDepartmentofNaturalResourcesMnDNRhasbeenusedasanindexofwalleyeabundanceinMilleLacsLakeforthepast30years.Avarietyofdifferenthabitattypesareincludedinthesurveywhichisstandardizedtoensurethatthesamelocations52totalaresampledwiththesamebottom-setgraded-meshgillnetsatthesameapproximatetimeandwatertemperatureseachyear.Resultsfromthefallgillnetsurveyareusedtomonitortrendsinthewalleyepopulationandarehighlyinfluentialinthestockassessmentsmodelsusedbystateandtribalbiologiststodevelopannualharvestablesurpluslevelsforthesharedfishery.Inanefforttoinvestigaterecentdeclinesinthenumberofwalleyecaughtinthefallgillnetsurveystateandtribalbiologistsinitiatedacooperativesuspendedgillnetsurveyin2012todeterminewhetherwalleyewerepresentinthewatercolumnatdepthsotherthanthosenormallysampledbythestandardbottom-setnets.Thefallof2013markedthesecondyearofthesuspendedgillnetsurveywhichwasconductedjointlybyGLIFWCtribalandMnDNRpersonnel.InSeptemberof2012atotalof32suspendedgillnetsweresetinconjunctionwiththestandardbottom-setgillnetsat22ofthedeepersamplingsitesinMilleLacsLake.AsimilarnumberofsuspendednetsweresetatthesamelocationsinSeptemberof2013.Thepreliminaryresultsfromthissurveyindicatethatfewwalleyeweresus-pendedinthewatercolumnduringthefallassessmentsurveyin2012and2013andsuggestthattheobservedlowcatchesaremorelikelyattributedtoarealdeclineinwalleyenumbersratherthanachangeinbehavior.Stateandtribalbiologistsareworkingtogethertoanalyzeavailabledataandidentifystrategiesthatwillreversethisdeclineandimprovetheconditionofthisimportantsharedfishery.ByGLIFWCInlandFisheriesStaffBySueEricksonStaffWriterOdanahWis.Shortlyafterogaawalleyehatchinthespringwalleyefrymoveouttotheopenwaterzonesininlandlakesandfeedonplanktonforafewweeksoftheirlives.Aboutthetimetheleaveschangethesmallwalleyehavemovedtonear-shorehabitatstofeedatnightoninvertebratesandsmallfish.DuringthistimeGLIFWCsurveycrewsconductelectrofishingsurveystogaugethestrengthofthewalleyeyear-classesoneachlake.Electrofishingboatsuseelectricalcurrenttotemporarilystunfishsothatsurveycrewscannetthemplacetheminarecoverytankcollectlengthinformationandreleasethem.Crewstargetwalleyeunder12inchesspecificallyyoung-of-the-yearandoneyear-oldwalleye.Biologistsusetheinformationgatheredheretoevaluateyear-classstrengthandlong-termtrendsinnaturalreproduction.Thesesurveysalsoprovidethefirstlookatthefutureoftheadultwalleyepopulations.Naturalreproduc-tionvarieswidelybyyearevenonlakeswithlargeadultwalleyepopulationsbutiffallsurveysshowanumberofyearswithpoororlowreproductionbiologistshaveadvancewarningthattheadultpopulationmaydecline.Whilemostofthesurveysfocusonlakeswithnaturalreproductionsomefallsurveysarealsousedtoassessthecontributionofstockedfishtotheyear-class.StockedfishcanbemarkedwithoxytetracyclineOTCandfishcanbeexaminedformarkstodeterminethepercentageofstockedfishintheyear-class.SurveycrewscollectedfishforOTCsamplingfromLacVieuxDesertontheWisconsinMichiganborder.ThisfallcrewsfromGLIFWCBadRiverMoleLakeSt.CroixandtheUSFishWildlifeServicesurveyed105lakesincluding15surveyedinco-operationwithWisconsinDepartmentofNaturalResourcesandMilleLacsLakesurveyedincooperationwiththeFondduLacBand.Alllakessurveyedwereinthe1837and1842cededterritoriesincluding92lakesinWisconsinseveninMichiganandMilleLacsLakeandNamachersLakeinMinnesota.Lakesrangedinsizefrom123-acreShermanLaketo132516-acreMilleLacsLake.ByMarkLuehringGLIFWCInlandFisheriesBiologistSpearandReleaseprogramasuccessGLIFWCsurveycrewspartnersassesswalleyehatchon101lakesStateandtribalbiologistsworkedtogetherthisfallonajointsuspendedgillnetsurveyinMilleLacsLake.Thestudyrstundertakenin2012sampleswalleyeatwatercolumndepthsnotnormallysampled.Thisstudywasalsopartofthefallsurveystoobtainmorecomprehensivedataonthewalleyepopulationinthelake.PullinganetareBenMichaelsleftGLIFWCsheriesbiologistandGregBergsheriesspecialistwiththeMinnesotaDepartmentofNaturalResources.PhotobyJenBurnettLCOOjibweHighSchoolstudentstookeggsandmiltfromspearedwalleyethisspringhatchedthematthehighschoolthengavethefrytotheLCOHatcherytorearintoextendedgrowthngerlingslowerright.TheywerereleasedbackintoLakeLacCourteOreillesthisfall.PhotosbySueEricksonandPaulChristelveryeffectiveinkillingsealampreysbutitdoesntkillthemall.ItisforthisreasonthatGLIFWCcrewsaretrappingstreamstofurtherreducethenumberofparasiticsealampreywhiletheyarestillinthestreamandbeforetheymakeittoLakeSuperiortofeedonfish.Eachsealampreycankillupto40poundsoffishineighteenmonthsasitgrowsfromasix-inchnewlytransformedparasitetoanadultsealamprey.NetsarebeingfishedintheBadPotatoMarengoandAmniconRiversinWisconsinandintheTraverseRiverinMichigansUpperPeninsula.Todatenearlyonehundredtransformedsealampreyhavebeenremovedfromthestreams.Nettingwillcontinueuntiltheiceforms.