Lake Powell Walleye Contest
Thank you to all of those who participated in the tagged walleye contest in 2017. We gave away all the prizes we had and will not be able to continue the contest into 2018. However, we will be having some other contests during the summer of 2018 at Lake Powell so keep an eye on Facebook and Wayneswords.com.
There are still walleye in the lake with tags and we expect people will catch some of those fish over the next couple of years. If you catch a walleye with a red tag (these were the contest fish) please record the number and location of catch and report that to: [email protected] or [email protected], feel free to keep these fish and enjoy a good meal. This will really help us with some of the research we are doing at the Lake. We also will have walleye tagged with green tags that say “RESEARCH FISH DO NOT KILL” we ask that you release these fish unharmed if possible. The fish have had radio transmitters surgically implanted to help us better understand their movement patterns.
Thanks again to all those who participated in the tagged walleye contest.
Wayne, I was wondering if there will be any information from the ongoing research,from the tagged Walleye contest, available to the public? I think it would be interesting to compare on a map where they were caught in relation to where they were tagged.
UT and CO anglers caught the most tagged walleye (24), but anglers from NM, AZ, MN, CA, and ID were also represented. Most fish were caught between Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. This is the prime walleye fishing location in Lake Powell.
We confirmed that the walleye fishing season in Lake Powell begins in Late April and shuts down in late June. The angling period coincides with walleye recovering from the spawning process which occurs in cold water during March. In April the water begins to warm and walleye feeding increases. The optimum feeding and angling catching period occurs during the month of May with water temperatures in the 60s as walleye feed all day and not just in the morning and evening. As the water warms in June, shad and other species spawn making forage more available. In warmer water with more forage, walleye switch to feeding at night when they have the competitive advantage with their superior vision in low light situations. As water continues to warm and forage abundance increases, walleye feed only at night making them very hard to catch for Lake Powell daytime anglers.
Most tagged walleye stayed close to their capture site during the spring and early summer. The vast majority of tagged fish were recaptured quite close to their tagging location.
The shortest duration in the water for a newly tagged fish was one day (Apr 25 - Apr 26, 2017). That fish was captured at the tagging site.
The longest duration before recapture was May 26, 2016 to June 7, 2017. This fish moved from Halls Creek to Hansen Creek in a year (~11 miles).
The furthest migration was from Lost Eden to Cedar Canyon (~18 miles) in one year and 5 days (June 1, 2016 to June 6, 2017). It is suspected that migration occurs in conjunction with the March spawning period. It is possible that some walleye (not all) move to spawn and then perhaps return to their preferred feeding spot to spend their time until the next spawning move.
There are still many tagged walleye swimming in Lake Powell. If you catch one please notify Wayne Gustaveson or Richard Hepworth and give us all the information: tag number, where caught, when, fishing tips, etc. We will continue to give out prizes until they run out. Utah DWR can always use the data from the tagged fish so please send it along.
This has been posted previously but the site has lots of places to look. We will tag a few more walleye this spring and track them with sonic tags to see if they are migrating up the Colorado River where many walleye have been seen recently. The research is ongoing but takes a long time to get the data. I will keep you updated as we get more information.
Wisdom needs to overcome desire to make sure that success is achieved. If you can make one trip a month this spring them all is well. If you want to make sure you are successful on fewer trips then May is that time. Northern Lake Powell is the best destination for walleye. It a can be incredible for an unlimited catch of fish.