HOUGHTON - The waters of the Keweenaw have 1.5 million more walleye fry today than they did a day ago.
The Copper Counry Walleye Association collaborated with the Department of Natural Resources to stock 21-day-old, quarter-inch-long walleye at several locations throughout the Keweenaw. They set off from the Centennial Park boat launch in Chassell Monday afternoon.
This is the third year the club has collaborated with the DNR, said Ross Rinkinen, president of the CCWA. Rinkinen said it goes back to his club's mission of ensuring a future walleye population in the area.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Ross Rinkinen, president of the Copper Country Walleye Association, sets off from Chassell with 1.5 million walleye fry. The CCWA has collaborated with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the past three years to stock walleye.
"This is one way we can make an impact," he said.
The amounts have grown each year: 100,000 fry at first, followed by 1.5 million fry and 50,000 older fingerlings, then this year's 1.5 million fry and 100,000 fingerlings.
Other locations Monday included Oskar Bay, Bootjack, Dollar Bay and the Houghton shoreline.
The 2.5- to 3-inch fingerlings will be stocked at locations closer to boat launches, Rinkinen said.
It's not a one-sided arrangement. The CCWA has a memorandum of understanding with the DNR to provide monetary support as well as in-kind labor for projects. Wednesday, they'll be working at a dike in Boston Pond.
"It's really essential that we work together, especially with times as they are today," said Mark Mylchreest, DNR fisheries technician supervisor.