DELTA COUNTY, MI - The Department of Natural Resources has announced the results of a long-term study to determine the contributions of hatchery-reared walleyes in the bays de Noc. Since the 1960s, when the walleye numbers were in decline, the fish’s population has been rehabilitated through protective regulations, improved habitat, and stocking efforts. Natural reproduction has been detected in Little Bay de Noc since as early as 1988, but stocking efforts have continued in these waters to help increase walleye numbers. In 2004 the DNR began a study to estimate the contribution by both hatchery-reared and naturally reproduced walleyes in the bays de Noc. DNR fisheries research biologist Troy Zorn says the “results indicate that natural reproduction is the main driver of walleye stocks in the bays, but that hatchery fish are likely contributing too."