Crews from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department harvested roughly 1.3 million eggs during the agency’s annual salmon spawning operation on the Missouri River System.
About two thirds of the eggs came from Lake Sakakawea and the remainder from the Missouri River below Garrison Dam, according to Dave Fryda, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Missouri River System supervisor.
The average size of Lake Sakakawea females was 8.5 pounds, almost 3 pounds larger than 2013 and among the highest weights documented since the inception of the salmon program. The Missouri River females, which are typically larger than the lake fish, averaged 10.4 pounds.
The number of salmon in the 2014 spawning run was greatly reduced throughout the Missouri River reservoirs due to the lingering effects of the 2011 flood, according to Fryda.
Plans for 2015 are to stock Lake Sakakawea with 400,000 salmon. No stocking is scheduled for the river below Garrison Dam. Chinook salmon cannot naturally reproduce in Lake Sakakawea.
source: North Dakota Game and Fish Department