Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


The walleye, Stizostadion vitreum vitreum (Mitchell) is the largest American member of the perch family (Peraidae); it represents the subfamily Luciopercinae in our waters. The walleye has a wide range of distribution which, according to hubs and lagler (1949), extends “From Great Slave Lake, the Saskatchewan River system and the Hudson Bay region to Labrador; southward on the Atlantic slope to North Carolina, and west of the mountains, to the Alabama River system of Georgia to the Tennessee River drainage of Alabama and to northern Arkansas and Nebraska. Common through the Great Lakes and many of the inland lakes and rivers of the basin; in Lake Erie chiefly to the westward.” Lake Darling is well within this range of distribution. Early collections by Hankinson (1929), however do not list the taking of walleyes in the Souris River which in 1938 was impounded to form Lake Darling. It is, therefore, questionable whether this species is native to this watershed. The effect of artificial propagation on the abundance of walleyes has received much critical attention in the past. For many years there was a great expansion of fish stocking of native fishes such as walleyes. It was thought then that annual plantings of fry were necessary to sustain a walleye fishery. However, the ineffectiveness of fry planting in lakes to maintain the fish populations has been demonstrated in Lake of The Woods, Minnesota (Carlander, 1954); Red Lake, Minnesota (Van Costen and Deason, 1957; Smith and Krefting, 1954); Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (Hile, 1937); Great Lakes (Van Oosten, 1937); and Spirit Lake, Iowa (Rose, 1949). Lack of correlation between the numbers of fry planted and abundance of walleyes was evident in all the above lakes. Routine plantings of fry in general management practice have been discontinued in many states, including North Dakota (Henegar, 1957); Michigan (Cooper, 1948); and Minnesota (Kimbal, 1956). As a result, an entirely different stocking program has been initiated. The general trend now is to stock walleye fry only in lakes where the fish population has been depleted or reduced because of winter kill, or in newly created or rehabilitated waters. The problem of establishing a fishable population of walleyes in a lake containing diversified species composition is a vexing one to fishery men of this area. Consequently, information pertaining to stocking procedures which influence the establishment of year-classes is of considerable importance to sport fishery management. Negative returns from the stocking of over three million walleyes in Lake Darling, North Dakota, over a period of eight years instigated experimental stockings of walleye fingerlings in the years 1952, 1953, and 1954 with special emphasis on distribution methods, planting procedures, and condition of the fish. This study is an attempt to evaluate these experimental stockings. Information on age and growth along with species composition are presented to provide a more complete species evaluation in the lake. Gill net and fyke net catches provided only walleyes of year-classes which are attributed to the stocking of walleye fingerlings. Data on size and method of planting are also included.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fish-culture -- North Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 28-30)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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