APR 02, 2018 05:14 PM PDT

Walleye Fish Populations Seem to be Declining

Many fish enthusiasts are familiar with walleye fish, but one thing they may not be so familiar with is the rate at which their populations appear to be diminishing.

A walleye fish captured during the scientific study.

Image Credit: Andrew Rypel/UC Davis

A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences suggests significant declines in walleye fish in the lakes scattered throughout the state of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, there aren’t any signs that these declines will let up anytime soon.

The study relied heavily on existing population statistics, and the researchers observed population declines of 27% between the years of 1990 and 2012. The team cites climate change, habitat degradation, and overfishing as potential driving factors that have contributed to the dismal findings, but admittedly, there could be more.

Walleye populations throughout Wisconsin’s lakes exist in one of two ways; either the fish naturally reproduce on their own, or the fish are ‘stocked’ into the lakes by humans to make up for lacking reproduction. Interestingly, the researchers observed higher declines in lakes with more ‘stocked’ walleyes than those that rely more heavily on natural reproduction.

“This is a clear warning sign that something is not right,” explained Andrew Rypel, the lead author of the study. “The results suggest that anglers, tribes, and resource management agencies will all need to work together to craft new science-based management policies for moving forward.”

Related: The chemicals we flush down the toilet may be contributing to more transgender fish

Walleye fish are particularly tasty compared to other kinds of fish, and they’re commonly fished for food. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to be reproducing as quickly as they’re getting plucked from the water.

Given the circumstances, it seems vital that conservationists act fast to sustain walleye fish populations before it’s too late. Population declines, when caught early enough, can be reversed with new laws and regulations.

“It’s essential that we work collaboratively when we see trends that fisheries like these are in decline,” Rypel added.

Related: This fish quickly adapted to live with toxic chemicals

Hopefully, animal conservation groups and local governing bodies can work together to quickly discern the underlying issue and get walleye fish populations back in check.

Source: UC Davis

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Newly-Discovered Tea Plant Naturally Exhibits Little or No Caffeine
Tea is perhaps one of nature’s purest flavored drinks, and it can be brewed from not much more than some hot water and lightly-processed tea plant le...
NOV 19, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 19, 2018
Communal Rearing Better Prepares Mice for the Real World, Study Finds
Researchers have long understood early-life experiences to influence actions and behavior later in life for humans, but can be same be said about animals?...
DEC 10, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 10, 2018
Urbanized Tungara Frogs Have Developed Sexier Mating Calls, But Why?
Animals of all kinds change their behavior to adapt to urbanized settings, and tungara frogs are no different. New research published this week in the jour...
DEC 11, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 11, 2018
What is a Zombee?
You may or may not have heard of a zombee, which is essentially a zombified bee. Zombees are bees that have been infected by the phorid fly (Apocephalus bo...
DEC 17, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 17, 2018
Newly Discovered Species of Dinosaur Was Related to Triceratops
Although dinosaurs don’t walk the Earth with us today, they left behind a plethora of fossilized bones and remnants that can help tell their story an...
JAN 02, 2019
Health & Medicine
JAN 02, 2019
The Creatures Living on Our Skin
While the images that you find on different websites of mites that live on humans may be frightening, most have a symbiotic relationship with us and are as...
Loading Comments...