GFP News - october 1, 2015
Salmon Station Open for Egg Collection
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) fisheries staff have opened the Whitlock Bay Salmon Spawning Station for the 2015 season.
"We are still in the rebuilding stages of the salmon population following the 2011 flood," stated Robert Hanten, GFP fisheries biologist. "Juvenile salmon stocked in the years following the flood likely experienced low survival due to high predator numbers and low prey abundance. The below-average number of adult female salmon will make collection efforts challenging this fall."
Hanten continued to state that the majority of the salmon caught this summer were 10- to 20-pound fish that were in great condition. Larger females contain more eggs meaning the egg-take goal could be met with fewer fish.
Fisheries crews will be electrofishing on Lake Oahe in an attempt to capture additional adult salmon for spawning.
Chinook salmon do not naturally reproduce in Lake Oahe and would not exist there without the efforts of GFP staff collecting eggs, rearing and stocking them back into the lake for anglers to enjoy. Each year juvenile Chinook salmon are stocked in middle and lower Lake Oahe. They then disperse throughout the reservoir until they become sexually mature. The water flowing down the fish ladder attracts mature salmon to the station where GFP staff collect, sort and spawn the fish.
Whitlock Bay Salmon Station is located 18 miles northwest of Gettysburg by West Whitlock Recreation Area. The station is open for tours from 9-11 a.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during October. There are no tours on October 13. The fish ladder observation deck is open to the public at any time. Group tours can also be arranged by calling 605.223.7681.