Egg CollectorsWritten by Beatriz Reyna
It happens every spring just to make sure you have fish to catch all summer long.
Walleye at Lake McConaughy are ready to spawn.
So biologists are taking advantage of Mother Nature to harvest eggs and stock other lakes in Nebraska.
On the west side docks of Martin Bay a time consuming but very important operation is underway.
Here state game and parks officials are going strong with day two of their walleye egg collection.
The operation is one of three taking place in Nebraska to satisfy walleye stocking requests for 2011.
The goal is to collect 71 million eggs.
“We are getting pretty good quality of eggs. This is an older group of females in this lake so we are dealing with a lot bigger females than normal,” said Dirk Higgins, NE Game & Parks NP Hatchery Manager.
From here the eggs will go to the North Platte Hatchery for hatching.
In return, Lake McConaughy will see about 1.5 million fingerlings.
“We will stock them as fry either at our reservoirs or in our production ponds,” said Higgins.
Game and Parks began netting operations at 7 pm Thursday.
“We usually run nets until one o'clock in the morning. Then we determine where we are going to set up our spawning operation based wind and weather,” said Higgins.
About four hundred fish were captured during the six hour procedure.
“We probably have over one hundred females we have taken eggs from and we got about three hundred here in the cribs. These females that are in the cribs are "green" females they are not ready yet,” said Higgins.
So they will wait it out for a few more days to see if they develop.
If not, “We will take them out of the cribs and they will be released,” said Higgins.