MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - After taking stock of the fish in Lake Nokomis it is clear there are a lot of bluegills and that's a problem.
"At high densities, bluegills strip the water column of the good food and they head into the sediment to feed on aquatic insects," explains "The Lake Detective," Steve McComas of Blue Water Science.
"There's too many bottom fish, bottom feeders feeding in the sediments which was stirring up phosphorous into the water column, which led to algae blooms," said Kelly Dooley from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.
Bullheads are another bottom feeder, and another part of the problem. Many have been netted and removed.
"We found through our netting, our earlier netting that there were not enough walleye, or enough predators to keep the bluegills and the bullheads under control," says McComas.
The walleyes released in the lake on Wednesday are meant to feed on the smallest of the bluegills and bullheads.
McComas continues, "As they get bigger they'll be able to feed on the larger bluegills as well. And the number of bluegills should go down. And when that happens, water quality should improve and that seems to be what's happening."
So far, they are doing their job.
"We've seen a decrease in the black bullheads, a decrease in the bluegills. and we're seeing more game fish because we're stocking the lake," Dooley reports.
The balanced fish population is also allowing native aquatic plants to reclaim their territory and contribute to an improving water system.
This is good news for Lake Nokomis anglers too. As the walleyes multiply, fishermen and women can take advantage with their hook and line.
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