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Walleye Spawn At Fort Peck Reservoir Will Be Delayed


The winter and spring of 2023 is proving to be tenacious, with roughly 30 inches of ice remaining in some areas on Fort Peck Reservoir and nighttime temps in the single digits well into early April. It begs the question: what’s happening with the walleye spawn operation on Fort Peck this year?

In most years, FWP fish eries crews start setting trap nets in early April. Traps are set to collect walleye that are beginning the spawning process. While photoperiod (day length) plays a role in walleye spawning activity, water temperature is the most important influencer in triggering the spawning process.

Mother nature dictates when fisheries crews can start, and it has varied through the years. April 22, 2018 is the latest date on record that crews were able to set traps. Since 1937, there have been four years on Fort Peck when the ice didn’t go off until May. The latest recor...