Hook into this gift idea: Walleye stamps that improve Minnesota fishingDec 13, 2017 07:06AM ● By Editor
A walleye stamp can be a gift for an angler that keeps giving, because stamp sales help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provide more places to fish for walleye by stocking walleye into lakes where there would be none.
"Anyone can buy a walleye stamp any time of the year, even if they don’t have a fishing license,” said Neil Vanderbosch, DNR fisheries program consultant. “The collectible stamp is based on art chosen in our annual stamp contest.”
Funds from walleye stamps go toward the cost of purchasing walleye from private fish farms for stocking into lakes. A walleye stamp is not required to fish for or keep walleye.
There are several ways to purchase a walleye stamp. Anyone can go to a license agent and purchase a pictorial walleye stamp for $5.75, which is mailed to the buyer. Copies are on hand for purchase from the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.
The stamps can be purchased online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by phone by calling 888-665-4236. Alternatively, a form can be downloaded from mndnr.gov/stamps and returned to the DNR to have the stamp mailed.
Anglers with a fishing license can purchase the walleye stamp validation for $5, and for an extra 75 cents can have the pictorial stamp mailed to them.
“True, everybody has to buy their own stamp, but there’s nothing stopping a person from giving away the collectible as a gift,” Vanderbosch said. “It could make a statement about how you helped improve an angler’s opportunity to catch walleye.”
The overall walleye stocking effort ramps up each year in April when fisheries staff collect walleye eggs, fertilize them and transport the eggs to fish hatcheries around Minnesota. The eggs spend two to three weeks incubating before hatching into fry that are soon released – two thirds into lakes and one third into rearing ponds. The fish in rearing ponds grow into 4- to 6-inch fingerlings that are stocked into lakes in the fall.
In addition to raising and stocking walleye, the DNR also buys walleye fingerlings from private producers to be stocked into lakes, and walleye stamp sales help pay for these fish. Since 2009, funds from the walleye stamp have purchased over 40,000 pounds of walleye fingerlings that have been stocked in the fall, all over the state. Walleye are stocked in lakes that don’t have naturally reproducing walleye populations.
Anglers catch the lion’s share of walleye from waters where the fish reproduce naturally – about 260 larger walleye lakes and in large rivers. Because of stocking, walleye can be found in an additional 1,050 Minnesota lakes spread throughout the state.
More information about habitat stamps can be found at mndnr.gov/stamps.