The first privately funded stocking of walleye fry in Lake Sarah occurred in Saturday May 20, 2006. With funding from a few generous contributors and the help of Phil Kalleberg, Harold Burrows, Mike Peterson, an estimate 90,000 walleye fry were transferred to Lake Sarah in his initial attempt to restore the walleye to our lake.
October 10, 2019 - Marcus Zahn - 1400 fingerlings from Radermacher Farms released at Joe Slavec's dock in the mid-lake channel
October 25, 2018 - Kent Roers, Marcus Zahn - 1000 fingerlings from Radermacher Farms released at Slavec's in the mid lake channel
October 21, 2017 - Scott Walsh stocks 1000 fingerlings from Radermacher Farms, 600 at the landing, 400 at Shady Beach.
October 25, 2016 - Brent Lau stocks 1000 fingerlings from Radermacher Farms . Ron Radermacher, released at Klaers Farm beach. license #98, 11180 66th Street, Waconia, MN 55387. C 612.710.5667, H 952.442.4029, firstname.lastname@example.org m
October 24, 2015 - Brent & Reid Lau stock 1000 fingerlings from Radermacher Farms .
October 2014 - 1000 fingerlings stocked - Brent Lau / Radermacher Ponds on 10/21/14
November 2013 - 1000 fingerlings stocked. Brent Foster, Brayton Foster and Brent Lau met Ron Rademacher on November 1
November 2012 - No walleye fry or fingerlings were stocked this year. LSIA reports Joe S. decided to skip a year to "seperate the year classes". Board to discuss future stocking on a biennal basis with double the fingerlings.
2011 Fall Fingerling Stocking - Joe Slavec reports this years' walleye stocking was completed on November 1, 2011. With the help of Ron from Radermacher Ponds Joe introduced 1000 new walleye fingerlings to various locations around lake Sarah. this years fingerlings were larger than in past years averaging 6-7" in length. The lake Sarah walleye stocking program is funded soley by contributions as the MN DNR has to date declined to participate. If you would like to help out you can easily add a contribution to your annual LSIA dues payment or contact any LSIA Board Member to make a donation. Thank you to all those who donated this past year for your continued support!
Fall Fingerling Stocking onNovember 4, 2010 - Joe Slavec reports he successfully planted 1000 fingerlings in the lake on 11/ 04/10. The 4"-6" fingerlings, similar to those stocked in the fall 0f 2008, should experience better survivability than spring stocks of walleye fry according to Rademacher Ponds. Joe reports the walleye were inserted in a variety of locations on both the east and west bays of the lake. An added note, Joe received a report of a 15" walleye being caught this summer on Sarah! If you catch a decent size walleye on our lake please send a report with a picture if possible to this website so we can track the sucess of the program. This stocking project would not be possible without the voluntary contributions made to the LSIA Walleye fund, you can easily contribute towards the 2011 walleye stocking program by adding to your 2011 LSIA Dues check and indicating your gift on the membership form. Thank you to all those who donated this past year for your continued support!
Update - November 2009 - No walleye fry or fingerlings were stocked this year. LSIA reports Joe S. decided to skip a year to "seperate the year classes" Walleye stocking update 5/1/09 - Joe Slavec (“our resident walleye guy”) is planning a fall stock of walleye fingerlings again for 2009. Some reports of walleye being caught in Sarah as big as 10” indicate some success from prior 3 years of stocking efforts. The lake Sarah stocking program is a donor funded program receiving no financial assistance from the MN DNR. Contributions to purchase the walleye fry and fingerlings are tax deductible and can be made by check to “LSIA - Walleye program”, P.O. Box 25, Loretto, MN 55357.
Fall Fingerling Stock - October 31, 2008 - Joe Slavec reports he successfully planted 1000 fingerlings in the lake in the afternoon of 10/31/08. The 4"-6" fingerlings (see photos below) should experience better survivability with expected results up to 40% according to Rademacher Ponds! Lakes like ours that are fertile might even enjoy a little more success. Joe reports the walleye were inserted in several strategic locations scattered on both sides of the lake. This program would not be possible without the voluntary contributions made to the LSIA Walleye fund, you can easily contribute towards the 2009 walleye stocking program by adding to your 2009 LSIA Dues check and indicating your gift on the membership form. Thank you to all those who donated this past year for your continued support!
The Spring 2007 walleye stocking was completed on May 30! Our resident “Walleye Guy” Joe Slavec, with help from Scott Walsh and Dan Forster completed the spring 2007 stocking effort by introducing 200,000 walleye fry to lake Sarah.
The first privately funded stocking of walleye fry in Lake Sarah occurred in Saturday May 20, 2006. With funding from a few generous contributors and the help of Phil Kalleberg, Harold Burrows, Mike Peterson, an estimate 90,000 walleye fry were transferred to Lake Sarah in his initial attempt to restore the walleye to our lake
Walleye reported caught in Lake Sarah - Larry Hunter of Lake Sarah Drive reported he caught a six inch walleye in late October - he was fishing near the rock pile on the west end with a shad rap! That's an aggressive walleye (the lure was half it's size). Fish from the first years stocking should be catchable, if you catch a walleye in Sarah or hear of one caught please let us know when, where, size of fish, and tackle used by emailing this website! Look for a walleye contest for walleye program contributors coming soon!
LSIA Board votes 9/21/14 to again stock walleye in Fall 2014 with and estimated 1000 walleye fingerlings. Stocking occurred on October 21, 2014, Brent Lau, Radermacher Ponds.
1000 more walleye fingerlings move to lake Sarah in 2013
The Lake Sarah Association completed the 2013 stocking of walleye on November 1, 2013. Brent Foster, Brayton Foster and Brent Lau met Ron Rademacher to stock the 1000+ walleye fingerlings in two different spots within the lake. As we have seen some of these walleyes mature over the past few years, its exciting to have a new batch out there. Thank you to the team to make this take place again in 2013!
Lake Sarah's "Walleye Guy" Joe S. stocking fingerlings from Rademacher ponds 10/31/08
1000 walleye fingerlings (4" - 6") placed in Sarah October 2008
2008 Lake Sarah walleye stocking plans announced - We’re entering the third year of the privately funded walleye stocking program in Lake Sarah.Joe Slavec, founder and the driving force behind the Lake Sarah Walleyes organization, is planning to change this years stocking from walleye fry in the spring to a fall fingerling stock. Goeden Fisheries (our supplier and advisor) recommends a stocking of fingerling every few years- fingerlings are 4” walleye typically stocked in the fall season.These fingerlings have a much higher survival rate as the fish that can prey upon them are limited to fish that are able to consumethem.With Walleye fry, many become an easy snack for hungry panfish such that the first year survival rate can be as little as 1% to 5%.With the larger Walleye fingerlings, the initial survival rate can be much higher, as much as 80%. Fingerlings, however, do cost quite a bit more at roughly $.80 each, so the trade off is quantity. The Walleye fund has a current balance of about $1500.00 to fund the planned stocking of fingerling in this fall. "Our aim is to raise another $500 and introduce 2500 walleye fingerlings into the lake this year. Any funds over and above the $2000 per year goal can and will be used in following years." Reports of occasional walleye catches have been helpful as it allows us to monitor the growth and survival of previously stocked fish.Unfortunately, there is no way to measure to what degree we have been successful. If you catch a walleye in lake Sarah please email this site with date, location, and size of the fish caught or call Joe directly. Remember, all contributions to this fund are tax deductible! Checks for contributions can be made payable to LSIA - Walleye fund and mailed to: Lake Sarah Improvement Association, P.O. Box 25, Loretto, MN 55357.
Joe Slavec preparing to stock Sarah with walleye fry May 30, 2007
The Spring 2007 walleye stocking was completed on May 30! Our resident “Walleye Guy” Joe Slavec, with help from Scott Walsh and Dan Forster completed the spring 2007 stocking effort by introducing 200,000 walleye fry to lake Sarah. This compares to approximately 90,000 fry stocked in spring 2006, (the projects initial effort). It should be noted that this project is funded entirely by private contributions and receives no financial support or assistance from the Minnesota DNR (beyond their issuance of the appropriate permit of course). Thank you to the many contributors to this years stocking fund! Some funds are still being received or were not spent for the spring stocking, if we have enough available Joe plans to do a fall stocking of walleye fingerlings. If you would like to contribute towards the fall project or towards next springs program contact Joe Slavec 612.940.7849 or mail your tax deductible contributions payable to LSIA/Walleye, P.O. Box 25, Loretto, MN 55357. All funds contributed will be used to purchase walleye fry or fingerlings for Lake Sarah! More information and photos will be published here soon.
The organization "Lake Sarah Walleyes" was formed in September 2006 with the sole purpose of supporting a privately funded walleye stocking program on lake Sarah (DNR 27-0191) in western Hennepin County, Minnesota. Contributions from individuals and interested groups are collected each fall / winter with all of the funds then being used to purchase as many walleye fry or fingerlings as possible each spring for stocking. Lake Sarah Walleyes was subsequently integrated into the lake Sarah Improvement Association in October 2006, a move that will bring much needed tax deductible status to contributions to help fund the LSW stocking program. Contributions by check may be made payable to "Lake Sarah Improvement Association" with walleyes noted on the memo line, and mailed to LSIA, P.O. Box 25, Loretto, MN 55357. For additional information please contact Joe Slavec or email this site.
LSW's Experimental Pond Culture of walleye fry was an amazing success! Our Walleye test pond was sample netted by Joe Slavec and Dave Allen on Tuesday 10/24 using a special trap net (purchased by Joe Slavec, Phil Kalleberg & the Spencer family). The 1/4" walleye fry seeded in the pond last spring apparently did very well with many growing to an amazing 6 inches!
Photos at left by Joe Slavec.
Top photo - Dave Allen alongside the pond with the new fish trap (Fyke net) in the background.
Middle and bottom photos - a fine 6 inch specimen from the pond, much larger and healthier than any of our expectations. Joe reported also trapping many 1" bluegills which, although their presence is a mystery, must have provided excellent forage for the young walleyes.
The trap net was emptied and moved into a deeper part of the pond and will be checked again in a few days. Joe plans a full report on the test pond's success at the Thursday (10/26/05) Lake Sarah Improvement Association Membership meeting. Great job guys! Thank you to all the contributors to the initial walleye stocking program. (10/25/06)
Harold Burrows & Joe Slavec stocking lake Sarah with walleye fry 3/20/06
Thanks to Joe Slavec (and the generosity of some of our lake neighbors), the first privately funded walleye stocking in Lake Sarah history has been completed! Special thanks to Phil Kalleberg who drove Joe to the hatchery in Alexandria on Saturday morning (5/20/06) and also thanks to Harold Burrows and Mike Peterson who were on hand to assist with the actual stocking. Huck and Joe borrowed a boat from Bob Englund and distributed fry in the west side of the lake. Later that same day, Mike Peterson boated Joe and Huck to the east side where they also distributed fry. Huck and Joe also distributed some of the fry into Jorgenson pond and watched the hungry fry immediately feed on plankton - in total these volunteers distributed close to 90,000 fry! The cost was nearly covered by the funds raised for the project so far, if you know of anyone who has interest in a contribution to help out this year (we still need to buy $50 of fatheads and a $200 trap net in the fall as well as make up the current shortfall) it would be greatly appreciated! This project is not sponsored by the Lake Sarah Improvement Association, please do not make contributions by checks payable to the LSIA. Contact Joe Slavec or email this site for additional information. Contributions by check can be made payable to "Lake Sarah Walleyes" C/O Joe Slavec 4520 Shady Beach Circle, Maple Plain, MN 55359. Lets hope this is the first of many stocking projects with goal the of re-establishing the walleye in Lake Sarah! (Thanks for your efforts Joe).
Above & Below - Mike Peterson scoops a bucket of walleye fry for Lake Sarah's east bay - photos by Joe Slavec
Above & Below - Huck Burrows releases walleye fry in Lake Sarah's west bay - photos by Joe Slavec
Some Interesting Walleye Facts
Walleye fry (newly hatched fish) are as small as one-fourth of an inch (6.4 mm) in length. Walleye fry feed on zooplankton and mostly drift in the open water. Many of the walleye fry are eaten by predators or starve. Those that do survive grow fast, reaching 5 to 6 inches (12.7 to 15.2 cm) by fall.
Male walleyes become mature at about two years of age and females by age three or four. Adult walleyes feed on other fishes, such as minnow species, yellow perch, and rainbow smelt. Walleyes prefer cool water which will not exceed seventy degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 C). They also prefer water with low transparency because of their light-sensitive eyes.
The walleye is the most sought-after fish in Minnesota. Its thick, white fillets, handsome shape and coloring, and elusive nature make it the ultimate prize among anglers. Each year, anglers in Minnesota keep roughly 3.5 million walleyes totaling 4 million pounds. The average walleye caught and kept is about 14 inches long and weighs slightly more than 1 pound. The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by a reflective layer of pigment, called the tapetum lucidum, that helps it see and feed at night or in murky water.
More Walleye Facts from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
The walleye averages 1 to 2 pounds in most waters, though it occasionally exceeds 10. The torpedo-shaped fish ranges from dark olive brown to yellowish gold, its sides often marked with brassy flecks. The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by the tapetum lucidum, a reflective layer of pigment that helps the fish to see and feed at night or in turbid water. Unlike the sauger, the walleye lacks spots on its dusky dorsal fin, except for a dark splotch at the rear base of the fin, a marking the sauger does not have. The lower tip of the walleye's tail is white, unlike the all-dark lower lobe of the sauger.
The walleye is native to most of Minnesota, flourishing in large, shallow, windswept lakes with gravel shoals, such as Mille Lacs, Leech, Winnibigoshish, Upper and Lower Red Lake, Lake of the Woods and Lake Vermilion. It is also native to many smaller lakes and steams in all of Minnesota's major drainages. Because of its popularity as a game and food fish, the walleye was introduced to many other lakes, where it has become established. The walleye now occupies about 1,700 lakes totalling 2 million acres and 100 warm-water streams totalling 3,000 miles.
The walleye's low-light vision and sensitivity to bright light play a large role in its behavior. They usually feed in shallow water at dawn and dusk. Walleye are fish-eaters, preying heavily on yellow perch, which cannot see as well as the walleye in low light and thus are easy prey at night. With daylight, walleye move into the shadows of cliffs, boulders, logs and even heavy weeds. Lacking this cover, they seek shelter in deeper water. Walleye remain more active throughout the day if turbidity, wave chop or clouds reduce rightness. Walleye may suspend over deep water to feed on open-water species.
Walleye spawn over rock, rubble, gravel and similar substrate in rivers or windswept shallows in water 1 to 6 feet deep, where current clears away fine sediment and will cleanse and aerate eggs. Male walleye move into spawning areas in early spring when the water temperature may be only a few degrees above freezing. The larger females arrive later. Spawning reaches its peak when water temperature ranges from 42 to 50 degrees. A five-pound female deposits more than 100,000 eggs. Neither parent cares for the eggs in any way.
Depending on weather, the success of spawning can vary greatly year to year. Rapidly warming water can cause eggs to hatch prematurely. Prolonged cool weather can delay and impair hatching. A cold snap after the hatch can suppress the production of microcrustaceans that walleye fry eat. Year-class strength can vary 100-fold, depending on the success of the hatch and survival of the fry. One walleye year-class may dominate in a lake, while walleye a year older or a year younger are scarce.
After spawning, walleye move to feeding areas. Walleye are a "cool-water" species, preferring warmer water than do trout and cooler water than do bass and panfish. As the preferred forage fish become larger and more abundant during the summer and walleye need to spend less time hunting food, walleye commonly spend more time in deep, cool water, away from bright light, where they are most comfortable.