Representatives of Manitoba Fisheries made the rounds over the past week to disperse 30 million walleye fish fry, just a few days old.

Westman's Regional Biologist, Brody Kitch, visited close to 36 lakes in southwest Manitoba since last week Wednesday, meeting up with local councilors, reeves, game and wildlife club members, lake committee members and everyone who wanted to pitch in and help release the hundreds of thousands of baby walleye into their waterways!  Each bag contains 100,000 walleye fry!

This is what Manitoba Fisheries has been doing for many years, typically in the month of May when their hatchery located at Lundar, Manitoba is ready to deliver!

"The hatchery produced about 30 million walleye fry this year and about 1/3 of them, 11.5 million fry came to western Manitoba's region," explains Kitch. "So, that's about halfway through the Duck Mountains, south to the U.S. border, and the eastern boundary is around Morden-Winkler, including Lake Minnewasta."

Kitch says the walleye stocking program helps to enhance the walleye populations in those lakes that perhaps don't have the ideal conditions for natural spawning.

"The initiative for the program is to supplement the lakes that don't necessarily see the best walleye spawn or the best walleye recruitment, so this is just to give these fisheries [lakes] a little extra boost just for the chance that a couple of percent, like 2%, might survive," he explains. "For example, 300,000 in Killarney and 2% survive that's 6,000 fish that will be harvestable."

In some ways Brody Kitch has followed in his father's footsteps as his dad is also with Manitoba Fisheries.  Brody says as a boy he was able to shadow his dad on different projects and at first dreamt of becoming a Conservation Officer. However, becoming a biologist and working for the province's department of fisheries is his dream job."

"If I'm not working then I'm usually fishing," he laughs. "Yup it's tough to get me away from the lake!"

Please listen to more with Brody Kitch below!

Until next year when we'll get a new batch of freshly hatched walleye fry let's hope this summer gives us our lakes the perfect conditions for these youngins' to grow!  And to those that were released over the past few days ... until we meet again in a couple of years!

As for Brody Kitch's marathon of giving across the Westman Region, he says the 16-hour days were long and the travel was lengthy from lake to lake, but it's worth it.

"It was a really good week," adds Kitch. "It gave me a chance to share information on our stocking program and also give hands-on experience to local people who are interested in the program.  Overall, it was a very good experience for me to meet all these people."