Natural reproduction supports lower density populations in many Missouri waters. As the popularity of walleye fishing has increased in Missouri, management efforts have followed suit in many of the state’s rivers and lakes. Following the construction of many of the large reservoirs in the mid-1900s, walleye populations have been enhanced and maintained through selected stocking efforts
In order to increase our knowledge of the species, biologists conduct studies to determine the genetic diversity of walleye found throughout Missouri, walleye movement in various lakes and streams, the impact anglers have on individual walleye populations, survival of stocked fingerlings, etc.
Some of Missouri’s best walleye rivers include the Black, Current, St. Francis and Mississippi rivers. Lakes with good walleye populations include, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Show-me, Mozingo, Bilby Ranch, Stockton, Bull Shoals, Norfork, Table Rock and Smithville lakes.
Walleye naturally reproduce in Missouri’s lakes and rivers, but often not to a level that supports the current fishing pressure. Therefore, broodstock (mature adults) are collected each year so the Department can artificially produce and raise young walleye. These fish are stocked as fry and fingerlings (1-2” fish) into a selected number of Missouri’s lakes and rivers.
To gain a better understanding of the hatchery and fish rearing process, visit the Lost Valley Hatchery site.