After the disappointment of last year, the Wildlife Club took
extra pains to make sure its fry turned into fingerlings, monitoring
the air content, adjusting the netting and turtle barricade, and
bringing in fire-truck-loads of water. Perhaps most importantly,
it watched the growth of its charges so it could get them out
of the pond the moment they began to develop a taste for their
brothers cannibalism was the primary problem last year.
On June 25th a DNR officer arrived with his specially-equipped
minnow truck and six hoop nets, which six strapping
men in waders strung across the pond. Alternating directions,
the nets were anchored with their tunnels submerged in three or
four feet of water. After the nets were set, the crew had to wait
until the following morning to see how many fingerlings were caught.
The next day the group met again to harvest their catch. As each
net was emptied into a floating box by Jeff Powers, Mark LaFreniere,
and Doug Tilly, the gobs of young fish were cause for joy. On
shore they were poured through a double net and weighed. Extrapolating,
a good estimate was over 9,600 fingerlings, measuring about 32
mm long. They were obviously hungry, a good sign that they'd been
nabbed in time. Thankfully, only a few were jumbos, so the dog
eat dog rule of the pond had not yet kicked in.
After chucking six adventurous turtles and a small snake, the
walleyes were driven to Lake Geneserath in a stately parade of
grinning enthusiasts, and released. They loved their new home.
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