PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has opened the Whitlock Bay Salmon Spawning Station near Gettysburg for the 2016 season.
“Anglers caught some unbelievable salmon this year and there is a tremendous amount of interest in our salmon stocking program,” stated Robert Hanten, GFP fisheries biologist. “If fall egg collection efforts are successful, and the eggs are good quality, a substantial number of juvenile salmon will be available to stock in 2017.”
Hanten continued to state that the majority of the salmon caught this summer were 14-30 pound fish and were in great condition. Larger females contain more eggs; meaning the egg-take goal could be met with fewer fish.
Fisheries crews will also be electrofishing on Lake Oahe in an attempt to capture additional adult salmon for spawning.
Chinook salmon do not naturally reproduce in Lake Oahe and would not exist there without the efforts of GFP staff collecting eggs, rearing and stocking them back into the lake for anglers to enjoy. Each year juvenile Chinook salmon are stocked in middle and lower Lake Oahe. They then disperse throughout the reservoir until they become sexually mature. The water flowing down the fish ladder attracts mature salmon to the station where GFP staff collect, sort and spawn the fish.
Whitlock Bay Salmon Station is located 18 miles northwest of Gettysburg by West Whitlock Recreation Area. The station will be open for tours on Oct. 5, 12, 18, 25 and Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. The fish ladder observation deck is open at any time. Group tours can also be arranged by calling 605.223.7681.