FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2009
Grand Lake to Receive First Saugeye Stocking on Friday
ST MARYS, OH - The first saugeyes ever to be stocked in Grand Lake St. Marys will be released Friday, May 29 at 1:00 p.m. at the boat ramp near the State Park office, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Raised at the ODNR Division of Wildlife's St. Marys State Fish Hatchery, these fish have been specially treated to ensure that they are sterile, and not capable of reproducing. Should any escape the lake and make their way to Lake Erie, they will not be a threat to interbreed with Lake Erie walleyes.
Walleyes have been stocked into Grand Lake since 1999, but have not resulted in a successful lake fishery. The shallow, warm and often turbid waters of Grand Lake are not ideal walleye habitat, and likely limited survival of the stocked walleye.
Saugeye are a hybrid that results by crossing a female walleye and a male sauger. Saugeye have proven to be a much better fit in most of Ohio's inland lakes. They have created outstanding fisheries in canal lakes like Buckeye and Indian, which have conditions similar to those at Grand Lake.
Until this year, saugeye were not considered for stocking in Grand Lake because fish escaping the lake from the west end have the potential to reach Lake Erie. Division of Wildlife hatchery biologists were successful this spring in using a pressure-shock treatment on saugeye eggs to induce triploidy, which creates a sterile fish.
Given the success of saugeye stocked in lakes similar to Grand Lake, the Division is hopeful that after a few years of stocking, a quality saugeye fishery will develop in Ohio's largest inland lake.