April 25, 2003
The annual walleye milking is in full production at the DNR Hatchery on the Pike River. The best time to view the action is in the morning beginning at about 8AM. I got a quick explanation of the activity during my visit.
The photo shows a series of tanks, each with a specific function. The tank on the upper right is the trap. The walleyes entering the river to spawn are collected in this tank. Walleyes are then cataloged and separated by gender. There are tanks for males, females, and “green” females. Green females are not quite ready for milking and are held for a short period until they are ready to be milked. Most males and females are milked as soon as possible and then released. It’s quite an operation. Gathering, sorting, classifying, milking, mixing.
There is an observation deck for visitors. It’s worth a visit…
just to see all those walleyes.