Moravia, Iowa – The northern pike spawn is over in plenty of time to get ready for the walleyes. It hasn’t happened this way in a few years but thanks to Mother Nature, the fisheries staff will have enough time – and more importantly tank space – to prepare for the thousands of walleyes soon to be heading their way.
The DNR normally collects walleyes beginning in early April, but the warmer than normal winter and spring is making 2012 collection a bit less predictable.
Walleyes spawn when water temperature is in the middle 40s and the photoperiod (daylight) length is around the first week of April. The water temperature at Lake Rathbun is 51 degrees at the dam and 60.5 degrees at Bridgeview. Spirit Lake is around 52 degrees.
“Walleyes are a little confused right now. The water temperature has passed the point where they would normally spawn, but the photoperiod is not right,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of fisheries for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “We netted last night at Rathbun and found more than 50 percent of the females were ripe so we’ll net again there tonight and likely start going on Wednesday night.”
The Spirit Lake crew will set test nets on East Okoboji Lake Thursday night to collect enough females to determine how far they are progressing toward the spawn.
“Our goal is not to merely collect eggs, but to produce fry for stocking,” said Donna Muhm, hatchery manager at Spirit Lake. “Spawning fish before they are ready will not result in viable fry.”
Lake Rathbun and Spirit Lake are major suppliers of walleye eggs for the state, with some eggs coming from Storm Lake and Clear Lake. Fisheries crews need to collect more than 170 million walleye eggs to meet stocking requests.
The walleye collection takes place at night, using entanglement nets, called gillnets, set perpendicular to the shoreline in likely spawning areas.
Walleyes move in to shore in the evening and get hung up in the nets. Crews collect fish around 9 p.m., re-set the nets, and then make a second run 11 p.m. or midnight.
Daniel Jansen of MOC Floyd Valley and Whitney Vander Maten of Boyden Hull earned MVP honors as Northwest Iowa all star teams won both team titles at the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association All Star Games at Dallas Center Grimes High School Saturday.
The Northwest boy’s team posted a 93-86 win over the Northeast squad in the title game after a 101-91 win over the Southeast.
In the championship game Jansen; who will play college ball at Augustana inSioux Fallsled his team with 24 points. Austin Homan from LeMars who is headed for Briar Cliff hit for double figures as well with 10 points.
Jansen also led his team in scoring in the win over the Southeast. South O’Brien’s Adam Paulsen who is headed to Briar Cliff pumped in 15 points.
In the girls games Whitney Vander Maten opened with 28 points in an 88-69 win over the Southeast and then hit for 18 more in an 86-84 championship win over the Northeast.
In the win over Southeast Dana Weerheim of West Sioux hit for 16 points and Erica Dreckman of Marcus Meriden Cleghorn pumped in 15 points.
The Northwest girl’s squad was coached by Central Lyon co-head coaches Dan Kruse and Bruce Eckenrod.
Dordt sent early shockwaves around the GPAC when it swept three-time defending league champion Morningside 5-4 in 11 innings and 8-3 in the Mustangs’ league opener on Monday at the Jensen Softball Complex.
The twin setbacks dropped the Mustangs’ record to 6-10, while Dordt climbed to 9-13 and leveled its GPAC record at 2-2.
It was AAU Gold Tournament weekend in Iowa this weekend as tournaments were held across the state for teams in grades 4th through 11th.
Sheldon had two teams place at State Gold Tournaments. The 9th graders were second at the tournament held in Newton. Cedar Valley won the tournament with LeMars 3rd and NWI (the Unity program) finishing 4th.
The Sheldon 10th graders were third at the Marshalltown tournament. Tri County (the Western program) won the tournament with MVP (Sioux City) finishing second.
All told seven Sheldon teams earned a trip to the Gold Tournament this weekend by finishing in the top 2 at one of their Saturday tournaments. At state they competed against teams from all over the state of Iowa without regard to class size or location. Some of the tournaments hosted as many as 50 teams competing for these years’ top 4 medals in each age group.
As a program Sheldon had 11 teams, including over 90 girls, from grades 4th-11th that competed in the AAU season this year. These girls practiced twice a week from the beginning of January until this last week of the Gold Tournaments. They have competed in at least 6 Saturday tournaments to improve their skills, develop teamwork and learn to enjoy the game of Volleyball.
Northwestern College has named Tyler Knobloch as the new offensive coordinator for the Red Raider football program. He takes over for Joel Penner, who held the same position for the last three years and took the same position at Malone University in Ohio.
Knobloch has been the Red Raiders’ offensive line coach for the last three years and prior to that, served as the running backs coach for two seasons. Under his direction, the Northwestern offensive line has been one of the NAIA’s best, boasting the seventh best rushing attack in the NAIA with 222.5 yards per game and allowed just 14 sacks in 11 games last year. Northwestern had the top scoring and total offense in the GPAC, averaging over 36 points and 420 yards per game.
Head coach Kyle Achterhoff said, “Tyler has done a fantastic job as a position coach within our program, especially over the last three years with our o-line. He brings a level of intensity and a knowledge of our offense that will make the transition very easy. We will not be making huge changes but the adjustments that Tyler will bring to our offense are exciting.”
Knobloch lettered two years for the Red Raiders (2005-06) and came to NWC after a standout high school career at West Lyon High School. He has taught middle school science and coached several sports at Sioux Center Christian School the last three years. Knobloch, and his wife Melissa, live in Sioux Center, Iowa.