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Devils Lake, ND (November 7th, 2022)

We are in a transition period. Our last open water trip was last week. It was cold last night, some ice in the back bays has already started!

It was fantastic! Trolling cranks in 20-25 feet of water and or jigging the bridges/current areas as well. 

We are super excited about the ice season as walleye and perch numbers are looking good! We have the full report from the state below.

Mark Bry
Bry’s Guide Service
Devils Lake, ND 

Check out the update from the Lake Region Angler’s Association

If you’ve got a trip planned for Devils Lake, the recent updates from the LRAA should have you excited! Perch and walleye numbers look promising! Make sure you plan your next trip to Devils with Bry’s by calling us today! Check out the full report below!

Update for LRAA meeting 11/1/2022

Fish Spawning

We spawned pike at Devils Lake this past spring up in the northern portion of Pelican Lake. Overall, we collected about 118 quarts of eggs, but quality was on the lower side this year with a survival rate of 34% to the eye-up stage.  We spawned walleye at Lake Coe this past spring and got about 40 quarts of eggs.  The eggs were poor quality though and had a survival rate of 0%.  We also spawned walleye at Devils Lake and took about 66 quarts of eggs, survival of those eggs was 63% which is good for walleye eggs.

Adult Population Sampling

Devils Lake- The walleye catch on Devils this year was higher than last year as we caught about 35 walleye/net, which was well above the average of about 22.  This year’s catch set a new record and was the first time we have caught more than 35 walleye per net in the lake.  In terms of size, the catch of 10” to 15” walleye was 16.4 per net which is above the average of about 9.8.  The numbers of 15” to 20” walleye were higher than average as we caught about 12.3 per net compared to the average of about 6.  This was a new record high catch for the 15”-20” size class.  The numbers of 20” to 25” walleye were right at average, but the 25” to 30” walleye numbers were a bit above average.  The pike catch was similar to last year at about 2 pike/net, which is below the average of about 3 pike/net.  The yellow perch catch decreased a bit from last year to about 15 perch/net, but was above the average of about 11.5.  The catches of 8” and larger perch were above average.  The white bass catch fell a little to about 7.8 bass/net this year, but was still above the average of about 5.5.  Many of the bass were 7 year olds and they were about 14” to 16” long.  There were also some bass from about 10” to 12” long, that were probably hatched in 2020.

Stump Lake- The walleye catch on Stump was very good, the catch of about 25 walleye/net was higher than last year, and well above average.  The numbers of walleye from 15” to 20” was well above average, and the catch of walleye 20” and larger was at a record high.  The perch catch was good, as we caught about 25/net this year, which is higher than last year and well above average.  However, the majority of the perch were less than 7”, so they aren’t very big yet.  The pike catch was higher than last year at about 2 pike/net, but was still below average.  We still had decent numbers of 28” and bigger pike this year.  White bass numbers were at a record high at about 9 per net.  There were a variety of sizes observed.

Lake Irvine- The walleye catch on Irvine was up from last year at about 32 walleye per net, which was above the average of about 24.  They are good-sized as about 71% of the walleye were between 15-20 inches.  The pike catch was about 5.5/net, which is a bit below average for Irvine, but they are still rather abundant.  The yellow perch catch was about 0.5 fish/net, which is about average for Irvine.  We caught about 0.3 white bass per net in Irvine this year, which isn’t unusual.

Fall Reproduction Netting

On Devils Lake, the combination of walleye natural reproduction and stocking success seemed to be good, with about 50.5 young walleye caught per net, which is well above the average of about 25.  We should have 7 fair to good year classes of walleye in a row now.  Yellow perch natural reproduction was good at about 19 young perch per net, which is above the average of about 15.  Natural white bass reproduction this year was about 16 bass per net, which is above the average of about 7.  Natural reproduction produced about 1 black crappie per net this year, which is about average.  Our nets rarely catch young pike, so we do not have much information about their yearly reproductive success.

Stump Lake had good results this year.  Walleye stocking success appeared to be excellent this year, as we caught about 50 per net, which was a record high and well above the average of 15.5.  Overall, 6 of the past 7 years have had good walleye stocking success on Stump, with 2020 being the exception.  Perch natural reproduction appeared to be good, as we caught 65 per net, which was above the average of 53.  This is the 8th year in a row of relatively good perch catches on Stump Lake.  The white bass natural reproduction seemed to be decent, as about 3.5 per net were caught, which is above the average of about 2.5.

Natural reproduction on Lake Irvine was lackluster this year for walleye.  The walleye catch was about 7 per net.  A typical catch would be about 18 or so.  Perch natural reproduction was low at 0.2 fish per net, which is not unusual as they do not seem to reproduce very well in Irvine most years.  White bass natural reproduction was about 0.5 fish per net, which is below the average of about 2.   No crappie were caught this year. 

Fish Stocking

This year, we stocked about 300,000 walleye fingerlings in Devils Lake, with all of them going into the eastern portion of the lake since that area tends to have lower catches of young walleye and higher salinities make natural reproduction less successful in that portion of the lake.  We haven’t decided if we will stock Devils Lake next year or not yet.  If we do, it will likely be a relatively small stocking in the eastern portion of the lake like we did this year.

Stump Lake got about 840,000 fingerlings this year.  Stump Lake is pretty saline, so it’s likely that the stocked fish made up most of the catch as natural hatching success at Stump is probably very low for walleye.  We are planning to stock about 450,000 fingerlings into Stump Lake next year.

Irvine was not stocked in 2022. We are not planning to stock any in 2023, since the catch of young walleye lately has been adequate, and access is still difficult for the public.