The partnership between Manitoba Fisheries and the Mound Wildlife Group continues again this year with the stocking of their rearing pond northeast of Pilot Mound, this to allow these 2–3-day old fry to grow in an environment that is free of predators, and with no competition for the food source.

Westman's Regional Biologist with Manitoba Fisheries, Brody Kitch, says the peak of the program was in 2021 when 17,000 walleye fingerlings were transferred to lakes in south-central Manitoba, but that was when conditions were prime for these baby walleyes.

The project started in 2018 when Manitoba Fisheries stocked the rearing pond with 50,000 fry.  They're now up to 200,000 fry released into the pond annually.  Kitch says growth rate and the number of fingerlings they're able to retrieve from the reservoir is dependent on a few factors.  Last year they resulted in only 700 fingerlings.

"There were a few environmental factors," he explains. "There were some fluctuations in the water levels, and there were also some bait species that were acting as competition for the first few months I believe for those walleye fry."

The year that the rearing pond produced 17,000 fingerlings the group noted the little fish were smaller, about 4-5 inches long, simply because they were competing with each other for food source.   However, last year when they had only 700 fingerlings caught in the reservoir, they were quite a bit bigger, 7-9 inches long.

Please listen to more with Brody Kitch below as he shares more on the process of growing and catching fingerlings!

Each September Manitoba Fisheries and Mound Wildlife volunteers spend a couple of days netting the 5-to-9-inch fingerlings to disperse them to nearby waterways.  The Goudney Reservoir, Killarney Lake, Rock Lake, Pelican Lake, Stephensfield Lake, and Mary Jane Lake have all been recipients of these five-month-old fish.

"The scope changes from year to year and if we have excess fish then we definitely work with Mound Wildlife to move those fish around," he explains. "So, it's been a very successful program and a great partnership with Mound. We're very excited to be partnering with them again."

Photos below were taken during a September harvest of the fingerlings.