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Coverage of the 2013 Walleye Spawn with the DOW

by: Shane DuBois 3/25/2013

Colorado Walleye Spawn 2013


It’s that time of the year again in Colorado, where the metro lakes begin to thaw out. You can find ice fisherman creeping out onto the slush, attempting to drop a line in “one more” time before they have to pack up their sleds. You can also find the anxious boaters, waiting behind closed gates by the marina. The one with the shiniest boat and trailer with a big glossy smirk is clearly the most restless out of the bunch. The midday temperatures are around 50-60 degrees and the water, just barely over 40 degrees.


It is now mid-March and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) officers and aquatic biologists have begun spawning operations at Cherry Creek Reservoir, Chatfield Reservoir, and Pueblo Reservoir. The nets are placed out every evening, and collected first thing in the morning by the CDOW staff and volunteers. The idea is to collect and fertilize as many eggs as possible during this operation. This practice ensures the future population of walleyes in lakes all over Colorado.


The spawning operation requires teamwork from many different agencies and volunteers. We have aquatic biologists, wildlife officers, property technicians, state parks employees, hatchery staff, and veteran volunteers that all work together to accomplish this arduous task. There are also days where a few young greenhorns will jump in, and learn first-hand on how to protect our future walleye.


Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake are one of the very few lakes that reproduce walleye naturally in Colorado. Due to the fact that natural reproduction is basically absent in most waters, the annual spawning operation is crucial to maintain our walleye fisheries.

The statewide request for walleye eggs in Colorado is 100 million this year, which will stock about 80 different waters within the state. There is also an additional request of 20 million walleye eggs from outside states such as Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. These states trade out other species back to Colorado such as Wiper, Red-Ear Sunfish, Striped Bass, White Bass, Northern Pike, and many more in return for our walleye eggs.


Thanks to the CDOW and their generous staff, the Born to Fish Media crew has been on site filming with the spawn operation team members and will do so over the next couple of weeks. We will provide you with important information and an inside look at the operation from start to finish. Keep checking back with us LINK for new updates and media coverage of the operation.


If you have any questions or comments, please send them to

"Picking" WalleyeBunch of Males
Big Cherry Creek Female 
Blog content © Shane DuBois
Member comments
Reifer, CO   3/26/2013 10:15:06 AM
How do we become volunteers?
lewdog, CO   3/26/2013 12:05:42 PM
Good work on giving back to the walleye fishing community. Whats the pic on the right? Dead ones? Is there alot of them killed in this process? Is there a way a person could connect witth the dow boat on its way back in to get some meat? Thanks
Shane DuBois (reconfisher), CO   3/26/2013 12:53:51 PM
No they are not dead obes just males in a holding tank. There is almost no mortality in the operation for walleyes which is awesome. All walleyes are released after they are milked.
lilbreigh, CO   3/26/2013 2:58:25 PM
Man that is one awesome looking female there! I looked with not much luck to be a volunteer this year. Maybe next year..
Coyute, CO   3/26/2013 5:03:12 PM
I miss the sound of (Colorado Division of Wildlife.) :) For people interested in volunteer opportunities with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, here is a link I found.
kamora187, CO   3/26/2013 8:58:25 PM
I volunteered out at Chatty two years ago, it was a very cool experience that I definitely want to do again. Nice work Shane! Travis
12redblue, CO   4/9/2013 3:27:16 PM
You can sign up as a volunteer for Parks and Wildlife off of their main webpage on the volunteer tab:
Neyet Stalker, CO   4/9/2013 6:53:39 PM
Walleye are the supreme specie. Now with that said>>> would any of you know who I would contact with regards to initiating a rule/regulation/law change. I would like to put a stop to something!
koko, CO   4/9/2013 8:10:39 PM
Nightstalker: shoot me an email The full article with new pictures are now available on the BTFM website.
Shane DuBois
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