Taking stock of the situationThe local fish stocking committee adds to Alexandria's reputation as a top spot for walleye fishing
The local fish stocking committee associated with the Vikings Sportsmen’s Club and in cooperation with the local DNR is continuing its efforts to make the Alexandria area one of the best walleye fishing destinations in the state of Minnesota.
The group added a total of 33,600 fingerlings to the surrounding lakes of Louise, Oscar, Jesse, Latoka, Reno and Turtle on March 7. That brings the total number of fingerlings released into area lakes to almost 300,000 from the fall of 2008 to spring of 2009. This does not affect the local DNR’s stocking program, which added close to an additional 90,000 fingerlings to the chain of lakes last year.
The project started with a five-year program that would put $25,000 worth of fingerlings into the Alexandria chain of lakes. That expanded to include 18 lakes in the surrounding area in 2008, thanks to a generous donation from the Alexandria Hotels and Hospitality Association.
The hospitality association donated $30,000 to the cause last year. That allowed the Vikings Sportsmen the ability to match funds up to a $2,000 donation from area lake associations. It was a big boost to the stocking effort.
The stocking of fingerlings on these lakes is important to the overall walleye population because of the low-success rate they have at naturally reproducing.
That is what drove a group of Viking Sportsmen’s Club members to form the stocking committee and devote their attention toward restoring Alexandria as a prominent walleye fishing destination. The Viking Sportsmen will continue to match funds this year of up to $2,000.
To help ensure the success of the stocking effort, the committee suggests releasing all fish measuring less than 15 inches. The fingerlings average around six inches in length when released. It takes around two years for them to reach 15 inches.
Those looking to help with the cause can continue to do so by purchasing T-shirts at $10 apiece from Christopherson’s Bait and Stub’s Marine. Every shirt purchased goes to buy one pound of fingerlings.
Residents can also contribute to the effort by sending tax-deductible checks to Viking Sportsmen, P.O. Box 301, Alexandria, MN 56308.
A total of 18 area lakes have benefited from the aggressive stocking plan by the local Vikings Sportsmen’s Club. Those lakes are: Darling, Carlos, L’Homme Dieu, Geneva, Victoria, Louise, Oscar, Jesse, Latoka, Reno, Turtle, Maple, Brophy, Lobster, Aaron, Moses, Cowdry and Ida.