It was a night of electrofishing for the Copper Country Walleye Association and the DNR. They were on a hunt for fall fingerling walleye.
"Electricity will be put into the water. We're professionals. This is something you shouldn't do at home. The fish will be stung, they'll float to the top, we'll scoop them up, put them into a tank, they'll revive, we'll take our information from them, and they'll be released back into the system," said Mark Mychreest, fisheries technician supervisor with Michigan's DNR.
During spring, 50,000 fingerlings were planted in Portage Lake. Now the DNR is looking to see if the walleye are stock fish or theyâ??re of natural reproduction.
Two years ago, a group of fisherman decided to start the Copper Country Walleye Association.
"We noticed the decline in the local walleye fishery, and we decided to form a club and get it back to where it was 5 or 10 years ago," said Ron Wiitanen, board member of the Copper Country Walleye Association.
The electrofishing is in its third week. The group didn't catch any walleye on the trip, but the DNR says their goal is to be as efficient as possible.
"We want to make sure that we're working in a positive direction, and the anglers are getting the biggest bang for their buck. We want to make sure that if we're stocking the water, we're seeing fish return to the krill or surviving," Mychreest said.
The DNR also says if natural reproduction is present, they want to make sure they don't stock more fish and delay growth.