Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How Conesus Lake gets its walleye

The Finger Lakes Community College Muller Field Station on Honeoye Lake will hold an open house Saturday, April 9, so the public can watch the walleye culturing operations there.
The 7th annual Walleye Weekend runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the field station, 6455 County Road 36, at the south end of Honeoye Lake. This event is free and open to the public.
At FLCC's Fish Culture and Aquatic Research Center, college faculty, staff and students catch adult walleye from Honeoye Lake then remove and combine the eggs and milt.

The fertilized eggs hatch at the center and are moved to ponds where they grow to fingerlings of three to four inches for stocking Conesus Lake. The walleye must be released as fingerlings because the alewives in Conesus Lake would eat the hatchlings, also known as fry.
While at Muller Field Station, visitors can also view displays related to other FLCC environmental conservation programs, including black bear research and Honeoye Lake aquaculture research.
For more information, call Nancy Lawson in the FLCC Department of Environmental Conservation and Horticulture at (585) 785-1257.
The Muller Field Station property was donated to the FLCC Foundation in 2000 by Florence Muller. Her late husband, Emil Muller, used the property as a hunting and recreational lodge. Today the field station serves as a learning and research center for both FLCC students and the community. Its mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of environmental issues and the natural resources of the Finger Lakes region.


  1. Why are the walleye fingerlings raised from eggs taken from Honeoye Lake walleye not released back into Honeoye Lake?

  2. It's my understanding that Honeoye Lake does not have the problem with alewives and that fry in Honeoye Lake can survive to adulthood, but I will check with our resident expert, John Foust, and get back to you.

    --Lenore Friend, FLCC Community Affairs

  3. Below is a response from John Foust, assistant professor of environmental conservation:

    The NYSDEC determines where our walleye are stocked as part of the cooperative agreement. Conesus and Honeoye Lakes have different walleye management strategies. Honeoye receives fry stocking only while Conesus receives fingerlings only.
    --John Foust

  4. Different walleye management strategies. Honeoye Lake has THOUSANDS of man hours trying to fish and catch walleye all year round, especially these last two winters - and hardly any get caught. Conesus Lake - hardly anyone fishes for walleye anymore and ice fishing success is practically non-exisitent yet we see walleye stacked like cordwood in the spring spawning. Conesus may have alewives, but the walleye fry in Honeoye are just fish food for the millions of sunfish and juvinille bass in Honeoye Lake. Perhaps it is time for the NYSDEC to change management and to stock fingerings in Honeoye Lake?