Studying Walleye Diets on Devils Lake

Jason Breeggemann didn’t put many walleyes in the boat Wednesday morning, but few people have handled more fish on the big lake this summer.

Hundreds wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

A doctoral student at South Dakota State University, Breeggemann is fishing for information, you might say. He’s overseeing a study that aims to learn more about what Devils Lake’s fish are eating and how it affects their growth rates.

The big word for this relationship is “bioenergetics” — there’s more to it than diet, but you get the gist — and the fieldwork Breeggemann is conducting will allow him to build computer simulations to determine whether certain prey species result in bigger fish than other types of forage.

Does a walleye that eats mainly yellow perch, for example, have the potential to grow larger than a walleye that lives on freshwater shrimp, an abundant invertebrate species in Devils Lake?

Do fish grow faster during certain times of the summer?

That’s what Breeggemann aims to find out once he’s collected the data and crunched the numbers.

“What we’re doing is developing a baseline model for Devils Lake — this is how they grow based on what they’re eating,” Breeggemann said. “Once we have that baseline, we’ll be able to adjust prey species and see how that is going to affect growth.”

That baseline also involves knowing how much energy various prey species provide. In the same way a fatty hamburger has more calories than a lean turkey sandwich, no two fish foods are alike.

“Say the diet is 90 percent amphipods (freshwater shrimp), what would happen if we were to switch to 90 percent yellow perch — how would that affect growth rates and growth potential?” Breeggemann said. “We’ll look at that based on changes in diet.”

Link (Via: Grand Forks Herald)

Trout Candy

After recently reading through an issue of Flymage and coming across an intriguing fly pattern referred to as pellets, I was compelled to go to the vice and experiment.

Different pellet models, from bright bodies with holographic tinsels, through natural shades and even using fluor beads…

Their resistance is unsurpassable, the Cyanoacrylate or varnish finish make them real armored in the river. This finish not only gives them hardness but it improves water penetration.

Regarding colors and shades to use, depending on the zone and time of the year, we can choose the most realistic or give free rein to our imagination.

The pellet pattern inspired me to tie some small jigs, with the intention of using them shore fishing trout in the Great Lakes. I have not tested them out yet, but I have a feeling that if I can get one within site of any big trout cruising the shoreline – they will take it without hesitation. More to come…