State fisheries staff to discuss Lake Oahe at Pierre meeting

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's Game, Fish and Parks Department says slow walleye population growth remains a problem in lower Lake Oahe.

Senior Fisheries Biologist Mike Smith says the population of prey fish such as rainbow smelt has rebounded to where it was before the 2011 Missouri River flood flushed most smelt downstream.

But Smith tells the Capital Journal there are still issues with young walleye surviving long enough to become part of the catchable population.

Salmon also have struggled since the 2011 flood. There are fewer salmon returning to the spawning station and fewer eggs being collected for the state's fish hatcheries.

The fishery will be discussed Wednesday during a public meeting on lake management in Pierre. The meeting at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center begins at 7 p.m.

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