Monday, June 27, 2011

Tennessee Fish Stocking: Walleye vs. Sauger

In 2011, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency established a walleye stocking program in Watts Bar Reservoir, releasing over 220,000 fingerlings in the lake.

According to the agency, the decision to replace the sauger stocking program with walleye is based on reoccurring issues with the sauger's low natural reproduction, challenging hatchery propagation, and the management of the sauger as a sportfish.

A TRWA official explained that: "Walleye, on average, live longer than sauger. They obtain a larger size, more conducive to year around fishing. The brood fish are less of a challenge to obtain, and walleye require fewer man hours to produce in TWRA hatcheries."

Walleye and sauger have several parallel characteristics and are closely related. Both migrate up rivers to spawn, share similar feeding patterns, and are good night feeders because of they have a light reflective coating located behind the eye. Both fish are highly sought after as table fare by anglers.

source: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

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