SPIRIT LAKE - The late night, week-long annual walleye collection is underway at Lake Rathbun, Storm Lake and the Iowa Great Lakes. Crews with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' Fisheries Bureau have been setting gillnets at night looking for walleyes ready to spawn.
The goal is to collect enough fish to hatch 140 million walleye fry that will supply Iowa lakes and fish hatcheries.
Hatcheries will operate around the clock as workers bring in the nightly haul well past midnight. In the morning, those fish will have their eggs removed, then will be returned to the lake where they were caught to make room for the next night's catch.
At Spirit Lake, crews will also be collecting muskies to hatch 500,000 muskie fry.