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What Lurks Beneath, April 2018

I mentioned that our Nebraska Game & Parks fisheries staff hits the ground running every spring and that we have really geared up with our collection of walleye eggs starting this week.  I also want to note that this sure ain’t the first field work we have been doing already this spring.  Our field crews have been on the water in several places sampling, tagging, collecting eggs, etc., etc.  I want to show you a few photos to give you an idea of what is happening.

First, let me post the usual disclaimers. . . . I am always saying that when pointy-headed fisheries biologists are sampling fish populations their goal is NOT to collect the largest fish in a population; that is what anglers do, but not necessarily what fisheries biologist do when trying to collect representative samples of all sizes of fish present.  However, it is always possible when sampling fish to see some big specimens and that is more likely when collecting fish in the spring, especially when collecting adult spawners.

Knowing how much people L-O-V-E pictures of big fish, whenever I get some, I like to show ’em off.  Here is one of the big northern pike we saw while tagging pike at Lake Wanahoo again this spring.

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I do not recall the exact measurement of that fish and do not have the data sitting in front of me, but I remember it was just shy of 40 inches.

Believe it or not, there were light winds and sunshine the morning I helped with the pike tagging, but look close:

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Yes, that was ice we drove the boat through.  There was a skim of ice in some of the spots where the nets were set.

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Later I should have a summary of the pike tagging efforts at Wanhoo this spring.  I can tell you we have learned some very interesting things doing that work for the past several years.

One other photo to show you in this quick blog post.  Our fisheries staff in northeast Nebraska has been on the water at Maskenthine Reservoir doing some sampling already this spring, mostly targeting a few pike there too, but they noted the variety of nice fish they saw in the frame nets; bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish.  I know Maskenthine looked particularly good when sampled a year or two ago, even had a decent number of quality-size walleyes.  Well, it still does!


That is all for now, I know it is not much, but just an example of what is going on, and an example of the fish currently swimming in our Nebraska waters.  The fish are there, now if the weather would just give us a break, and if you can just get them to bite!

Stay tuned, more to come!

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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