Article Posted: March 28, 2008

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Division of Wildlife biologists team with OSU researchers to tag 200 fish

COLUMBUS, OH - Staff from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, in conjunction with researchers from The Ohio State University, will continue research on walleye movements during this year's spring spawning runs in Sandusky River and Bay. This marks the third year the division has researched the movements of this sportfish in the Sandusky River.

Objectives of the research are to examine movement patterns, locate additional spawning locations within the river and bay and document the amount of repeat spawning (across years) that occurs for this population. Information will be used in the future to help enhance the Sandusky River walleye spawning population, which has declined significantly in abundance over the past several decades.

During the spring of 2006, fisheries biologists implanted radio transmitters into 42 walleye during the spawning run in Sandusky Bay. Three remote data-logging stations on the bay and river collected information on the fish as they moved by. Boat and aerial tracking were also used weekly to pinpoint locations of tagged walleye during the spawning season. These transmitters will continue sending data through the 2008 spawning run.

"This pilot study proved that we could locate radio-tagged walleye in this large system, opening the door for more extensive work," said Roger Knight, Lake Erie program administrator for the division. "Ultimately, this research will provide important information for management of the Sandusky River walleye, especially about the spawning habitat that is being used by these fish."

To build on the earlier study, OSU and fisheries biologists will tag and track 200 more walleye with transmitters this year as part of a new research project. If anglers encounter walleye with transmitters protruding from their abdomen or attached along the dorsal fin, the Division of Wildlife asks that they contact the Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit at 419-625-8062 and provide information on fish size, location, transmitter number and jaw tag number (if present). Anglers are encouraged to release any transmitter-bearing fish that are caught.

Anglers may see biologists working in and around Sandusky Bay and River during the next several springs, as tracking of these walleye continues.

Additional information regarding this project, including the results from previous spring tracking, is available from the Division of Wildlife at ohiodnr.com .

Source: ODNR

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