Fisheries crews completed their annual salmon spawning operation on the Missouri River system, collecting more than 2.2 million eggs.
Dave Fryda, Missouri River System supervisor with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said crews collected enough eggs to stock the 500,000 smolts planned for Lake Sakakawea in 2019.
“Salmon were very abundant throughout the run, resulting in one of the highest collection of eggs in the history of the salmon program,” Fryda said. “After Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery was filled to capacity, crews were able to collect an additional 387,000 excess eggs that were provided to Montana.”
The majority of eggs were collected from Lake Sakakawea, with help from the Missouri River below Garrison Dam. Average size of Lake Sakakawea female salmon was 6 pounds. Fryda said, once again, there was an abundance of young male salmon, which typically forecasts a good run the next couple years.