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Walleye fingerlings stocked across N.D.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently stocked nearly 10 million walleye fingerlings in more than 140 waters across the state.

“Considering not many went into Lake Sakakawea, this was one of the largest stockings of more than 8 million fingerlings into the smaller fishing waters across the state,” said Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development supervisor.

With more than 50 new walleye lakes in North Dakota, Weigel said the demand to stock these waters, along with the larger, traditional fisheries, has greatly increased the demand from the hatcheries.

“Valley City and Garrison Dam national fish hatcheries contributed to make this happen,” Weigel said. “Both hatcheries have been outstanding in helping address our demand for walleye fingerlings.”

The unusual spring and progression into summer caused variable fish sizes.

“We had some of the largest and smallest fish ever shipped, even though all were about the same age,” Weigel said.

Conditions at the lakes were very good with cool water temperatures and, in some cases, newly flooded vegetation from recent rainfall, according to Weigel.

“They should find lots of food and good survival conditions, which bodes well for future fishing opportunities,” Weigel said.

Later this fall, fisheries personnel will sample walleye lakes to assess success of this year’s walleye stocking, as well as what Mother Nature provided.

One common observation fish haulers noted while traveling across the state was the amount of fishing taking place, both from shore and from boats.

“It’s a great time to fish for walleye,” Weigel said. “Statewide, there are a lot of opportunities and a good chance of success.”

For a list of all fish stockings, visit the fishing link at the Game and Fish Department’s website,

Game and Fish hosts State Fair skills park

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will host thousands of visitors at its free Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park July 20-28 at the State Fair in Minot.

Visitors will be treated to an array of activities, exhibits and information as the park is open from 1 to 7 p.m. daily. Pathways to Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Archery are major attractions, in which interested kids and adults participate in each outdoor activity.

In addition to hands-on outdoor learning opportunities, the area offers a live fish display, furbearer exhibit and native prairie plantings. Two information centers staffed by Game and Fish Department personnel bookend the Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park, which is located on the north end of the fairgrounds near the State Fair Center.