Walleye Restoration in Twin Falls and Kingsford Flowages
October 15, 2021
IRON MOUNTAIN — Work continues on a joint effort to restore walleye fisheries in two area flowages in the Menominee River Basin, with additional fingerlings planted this fall.
Wildlife Unlimited of Dickinson County is supporting the plan developed by Greg Matzke, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist from the Florence office, with the help of Mike Preul, director of the Mole Lake Hatchery in Crandon, Wis. The focus is on the Kingsford and Twin Falls flowages.
“This effort to restore the walleye fishery in these flowages is a serious one,” Preul said. “A lot of thought and preparation has gone into it. It has been a pleasure to work with Wisconsin DNR Fisheries and Wildlife Unlimited in Dickinson County on this project.”
The rehabilitation plan for the Twin Falls and Kingsford Flowages fits within Wisconsin DNR’s larger management plan for the entire watershed. These two sections of the Menominee River Basin once were highly valued by walleye anglers on both sides of the Wisconsin-Michigan border. However, over the past few decades these fisheries have received little management oversight, to a point where only small populations of walleye were being sustained through natural reproduction.
“The stocking of walleye in the Twin Falls and Kingsford flowages remains an important part of Wisconsin DNR’s effort to hopefully restore these waterways to self-sustaining fisheries,” Matzke said. “While there are no guarantees, we believe our plan has a good chance to be successful, in large part because we are rearing and stocking fish that are genetically indigenous to the Menominee River basin.”
ROGER WEBER, MOLE Lake Hatchery volunteer, unloads young walleyes into the Menominee River from the boat landing near Vagabond Park in Spread Eagle, Wis. (Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photo)
In recent weeks, 4,900 fish were stocked in the Kingsford Flowage while 9,300 were stocked in the Twin Falls Flowage. These plantings of 7- to 9-inch walleye fingerlings represent an annual installment of a 10-year plan launched in 2018.
Wildlife Unlimited of Dickinson County and We Energies are providing financial support for the plan. Through this combined commitment, an additional 30,000 walleye fingerlings will be stocked in the two flowages over the first five years.
“This project reflects the very essence of our now-40-year mission to enhance the outdoor experience for the people of our area,” said Alex Graham, Wildlife Unlimited’s president. “It could not happen without the technical expertise of Wisconsin DNR Fisheries and Mole Lake Hatchery.”
Graham added, “And very importantly, we could not participate in this multi-year effort without the financial support of our partner We Energies and the ongoing support of our Wildlife Unlimited members. Hopefully we can all look back in the coming years with great satisfaction, knowing we have contributed to the successful restoration of productive and self-sustaining walleye fisheries in our area.”