QLIA and Partners Stock Walleyes into Lost Land Lake

On October 23, 2017 the Quiet Lakes Improvement Association was pleased to receive 6,544 large, healthy walleye fingerlings (5/acre) for stocking into Lost Land Lake. This event culminated a week of frantic arrangements prompted by the realization that 3.5-inch walleyes stocked by WDNR in August had all but disappeared by the time of WDNR’s electrofishing survey on September 19. (These fish had been stocked at a much smaller size and earlier date than planned due to supply-chain problems with feed minnows at WDNR’s hatchery in Spooner.) To maintain restoration momentum and keep Lost Land a valid study site for WDNR’s multi-lake stocking evaluation (6- to 8-inch fish every other fall at 5/acre), private partners pooled their resources and bought these expensive fish ($1.80 each) from a private source at a total cost of $11,779. Teal Lake had already received its planned stocking of extended-growth (EG) walleyes (10/acre) from WDNR on September 21 and 22, thanks in no small part to the facilitation of access and direct assistance provided by Victoria Ross of Ross’ Teal Lake Rentals.

WDNR’s Sawyer County Fishery Management Biologist Max Wolter was instrumental in securing WDNR Fisheries program approval and expediting issuance of the required permit for this private fish stocking on very short notice. In mid October, there was no guarantee that any significant number of EG walleyes would still be available from a reputable dealer with certified, disease-free fish. But Tim Gollon of Gollon Bait and Fish Farm in Dodgeville, Wisconsin bent over backward to accommodate our last-minute request. Total project cost was stretching our Association’s budget to the limit, but offers of financial support from Walleyes for Northwest Wisconsin ($2,500) and the Quiet Lakes Tourism Association ($1,500) on VERY short notice got us “over the hump” and made this emergency stocking possible. Visit our “Links” page under the “About” tab to learn more about these great organizations.

QLIA Website Photo Editor Bryan Neuswanger of Keenai Photography was on hand to chronicle the stocking event through the lens of his Nikon D5200 camera. The walleyes were released at WDNR’s public boat ramp located on a lot leased from the Township of Spider Lake on the west side of Landing Camp Bay.

QLIA Member Gary Meloy (left) looks on with QLIA President Dave Neuswanger (right) as the delivery truck from Gollon Bait and Fish Farm backs down the boat ramp at Lost Land Lake.
Mike Gollon measures 52F water temperature in the hauling tank, almost perfectly matching the 51F lake water measured by Dave Neuswanger.
Mike Gollon attaches 6″ flexible conduit to a gate valve prior to releasing a tankful of fish.
Photographer Bryan Neuswanger examines a typical, healthy specimen just prior to release from the tank truck. Most fish were on the high end of the 6- to 8-inch range.
Dave Neuswanger directs a flexible 6″ conduit flowing with well water (from Gollon’s hatchery) and EG walleye fingerlings en route to freedom.
Many walleyes exited the conduit backward… like salmon fighting to get upstream!
Freedom! For all you photography nerds, Bryan captured the fast action here by freezing it in time with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR2 lens at a shutter speed of 1/4000 second.
Cleanup time! All conduit, dipnets, and platforms were rinsed with Virkon disinfectant in order to reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species to and from other waters.
Dave was impressed with the prompt, courteous, conscientious professionalism of Gollon Bait and Fish Farm! Thanks Tim and Mike!
QLIA President Dave Neuswanger (left) receives a generous donation of $2,500 from Bob Schuster (right), Treasurer with Walleyes for Northwest Wisconsin. Many thanks to Bob, President Joe Gendrich, and everyone at WFNW for their swift response in our time of need!
QLIA President Dave Neuswanger (center) receives a generous, last-minute donation of $1,500 from George Brandt (left) and Dick Thieren (right) on behalf of the Quiet Lakes Tourism Association. Many thanks to the Association, and to these QLIA past-presidents for their previous and ongoing efforts to make Lost Land Lake a special place to fish!
Our ultimate goal: These healthy 16- to 17-inch walleyes were harvested from Lost Land Lake on June 30, 2017 after being stocked as EG fingerlings by WDNR in fall of 2013 — the beginning of this walleye restoration program.