Wildlife Club News
(Editors note: with high hopes and much good spirit the
Wildlife Club members met the DNR truck in late June and escorted
it to the walleye pond. Nets were set in the center, with the
leads running out like spokes. Buckets of fingerlings were expected,
but the unfortunate yield was 1 salamander, 2 mud minnows, 8 turtles,
and a few fish. Later draggings with a seine net produced no better
The regular monthly meeting of the Beaver Island Wildlife Club
was well attended. The hot topic was the walleye pond. A DNR officer
arrived on June 27 and with the help of member volunteers set
eight seining nets in the pond. The following morning the nets
were pulled. Needless to say, the harvest of 67 fingerlings was
a shock. We had hoped for thousands. The fingerlings were an average
length of two inches and were transferred to Lake Geneserath.
The success of the pond is a disappointment, not a failure, Alvin
LaFreniere was quick to point out. The hard work has been done
with the help of many volunteers, members, and non-members. First-year
pond failures are not new to the DNR and even to researchers at
MSU. When I spoke with Don Garling, fishery biologist with the
MSU Cooperative Extension Service, he pointed out that walleye
rearing depends on many variables. We hope to utilize the Extension
manual as we plan for 2004. As we discussed this we were made
aware that successful ponds are aerated to keep up the proper
level of oxygen. We also had only a couple days to fill the pond
and establish a food source before the fry were delivered. We
also had some unseasonable cold weather during much of the rearing
time. Now that we know some of our mistakes we plan to move ahead.
Our first step will probably be to drain the pond and plant rye
to stabilize the bottom. Thank you all for your support and help.
Walleyes as large as 28½ inches have been caught on Lake
Geneserath this summer, and many in the 18-20" category.
Remember to consult your fishing guide for regulations.
We have begun a deer population survey. Working with Brian Mastenbrook,
our DNR biologist, we have established routes for observation.
Each route will be driven every evening at the same time by a
member and records kept of numbers of does, fawns, and bucks.
The survey runs until September. After three years we should get
a better picture of what our census is and what the buck to doe
ratio is. These surveys in addition to our successful hunter contest
should help us determine the status of our herd. Look for signs
about the Successful Hunter Contest. Sites for registering your
deer will be announced along with the rules. The grand prize by
drawing will be a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun. Second and third
prizes are hunting knives. You only have to be a licensed successful
hunter to register. The contest will run from Oct 1 through Dec.
We are getting reports of hen wild turkeys with poults. I have
seen many in varying stages of maturity. I also saw a loose dog
flush a hen that flew into a tree leaving her young unattended.
Her frantic clucks could still be heard as we drove away, hoping
she would return to her brood quickly. Please control your pets.
After two poor nesting seasons we are hoping that this year will
boost our turkey census.
Lois Williams, secretary
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