At the annual meeting of the Lake Latoka Property Owner’s Association held in June, 2004, a motion was made and approved to create a committee to help improve the fishing on our lake. The first meeting was held on Tuesday, August 31, 2004. Committee members included Gary Deick, board chair, Jim Lingor, secretary, Wayne Siffing, Harvey Kranzler, Terry Orpen, Darrell Styve, Dave Sailer and Greg Rewerts.
The mission of the Lake Latoka Fishing Improvement Committee is to study and investigate ways to improve the overall quality of fishing on Lake Latoka.
Three major concerns were identified
1. Over-population of northern pike
2. Declining population of walleyes
3. Destruction of the natural vegetation and fish spawning areas
Not being knowledgeable in the area of fish ecology, the committee agreed to contact Dean Beck at the Glenwood Area Fisheries Office of the DNR to enlist his expert advice. We met with Mr. Beck on stocking of walleyes and establishing a minimum crappie catch. If that were enacted, anglers would not be allowed crappies less than 10 inches.
November 15, 2007 was a milestone day for Lake Latoka. Thanks to the voluntary contributions of many property owners and people who just love to fish, we were able to complete our first supplemental stocking of walleye. The DNR has a walleye-stocking program that takes place every even numbered year. Our plan is to stock additional walleye on the odd numbered years. As you can see by the photo, these are not little minnow sized fish. We chose 1200 of the largest fish we could get to hopefully insure a higher rate of survival against the well-established population of northern pike. In the interest of fairness we stocked fish at both public landings and gave all of them explicit instructions to remain evenly distributed throughout both lakes.
Some LLPOA efforts to reduce the northern pike population include the following:
1. Supporting t he slot limit imposed by the DNR on the northern pike.
2. Encouraging the harvest of northern pike in compliance with the slot limit
3. Publishing the easy way to fillet a northern pike
4. Publishing several very tasty picking recipes for northern pike
5. Screening off the entrance to the best northern pike spawning areas
The fishing committee is working with Al Schmidt of the DNR on the minimum size crappie. Al is going to do a netting in Lake Latoka for three years. He did the first one in 2008. After netting crappies for three years, Al will be looking over all this information and the DNR will decide if a 10-inch minimum crappie would be good for Lake Latoka.
Walleye stocking in March 2009
There were approximately 11,000 to 12,000 walleyes released. This was all made possible from the Lake association, a generous donation from Tom Kohout and matching funds from the Viking Sportsman’s Club. There were $3000.00 worth of fingerlings released with only $700.00 coming out of the association check book!! Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for the fishery of the lake.
Thanks to everyone….Job well Done!!