|Sports fishing in Langlade County have received a boost.|
Stocking trucks filled with the muskies, state’s official fish, rolled out from the Art Oehmcke State Fish Hatchery east of Woodruff earlier this month, delivering 8,239 fingerlings to lakes in five counties, including Enterprise, Greater Bass, and Moccasin lakes in Langlade County.
Other lakes in the initial stocking included Castlerock Flowage in Adams County; Roberts, Scattered Rice, Silver, Windfall lakes in Forest County; Julia Lakes in Oneida County, and Delavan Lake in Walworth.
Over the next two days, 25,000 muskies from the hatchery were stocked in the Petenwell Flowage, Cauldron Falls in Marinette County, Townsend Flowage in Oconto County, Shawano Lake in Shawano County. Monona Lake in Dane County, Somo Lake in Lincoln County, Big Rib River in Marathon County, Bolger Lake in Oneida County, and Ballard, Irving, White Birch all got stocked.
Outdoor pond manager Gary Muench said it was a good production year and the hatchery was able to fill all its quotas—requests for fish from biologists—and was able to provide more fish than expected to Petenwell and Castlerock flowages and Lake Koshkonong, vast waters.
The musky are stocked as large fingerlings, fish 9 to 11 inches long. Their transfer from the hatchery ponds to a stocking truck and into a receiving water marks the end of a months-long stay at the hatchery that began in the spring.
DNR crews captured mature fish during spring spawning; the fish abdomens are rubbed to expel roe (eggs) and milt (sperm). In the wild, less than 0.1 percent of the eggs deposited would hatch and survive, in the hatchery, 60 to 95 percent of the incubated eggs make it.
Shortly after hatching, the fish are transferred to outside rearing ponds to dine first on plankton, and then on minnows, before DNR crews collect, or harvest them, for stocking.
Statewide, about 200 lakes or rivers are stocked with muskie.
Staff at Art Oehmcke State Fish Hatchery east of Woodruff prepare muskie fingerlings for stocking. Some of the fish ended up in Langlade County lakes.