State fishery biologists are encouraging anglers to fish at Canton Lake even though the water level remains more than 12 feet below normal.
The lake has lost some fish due to the water releases for Oklahoma City but the population of walleye is still plentiful, said Chas Patterson, northwest region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
“The perception is all the fish went with the water and the fishing is no good,” Patterson said. “It may be different than it was before, but those fish are still there.”
Patterson said state wildlife officials recently completed their annual brood stock netting at Canton Lake, where they set up nets along the dam to catch walleye.
After the walleye are trapped in nets, the eggs are removed from the females and fertilized with male walleye and saugers on the shore.
The eggs are then taken to the Byron Fish Hatchery, where in five days they become fry. The majority of walleye fry (1/2-inch fish in length) are released into Canton and several other Oklahoma lakes.
The saugeye fry are placed into the hatchery, where they grow to the size of fingerlings (2-inch fish) and then are released into Oklahoma lakes.
More than 10 million walleye eggs were collected from Canton Lake and another 5 million were taken from fish at Fort Supply Lake, Patterson said.