|The Very First Walleye Pond
By: Steve Sharon
Don Murray told me that he got a call from an old member (Ed Raquel) who wanted to turn over some old news clippings about the Walleye Ponds. So I went to meet him at his house where we had a lengthy conversation and I was able to ask him many questions. This is his story as told to me.
It turns out that Ed was responsible for starting the very first walleye pond. In early 1974, Ed owned a tool and die shop in Warren and had just moved to Armada Township. He then decided that he wanted to have a pond so he dug a ¼ acre pond on his property. Incidentally, this was the same year that our Walleye Club was getting started. He was not yet a member of our club because it was not started yet. So he and his buddies got together to do some exploring. Ed was the treasurer of the Detroit Area Steelheaders. Ken Pearce was on the Lake St Clair Advisory Committee, Ron Spitler was with the DNR while Tom Schneider was the Detroit Chapter President of the Detroit Area Steelheaders. They along with ED had all fished the Macomb County streams quite a few times so they went to do some exploring.
Ken Pearce had tried the freeway ponds but found out that they were unsuccessful, so he asked Ed if he could use his newly dug pond to raise some Walleye for planting in LSC to start a spawning run on our side of the lake in the Clinton River. At that time the only Walleye came from the Thames River in Canada and that area was under threat of being blocked by commercial nets. On May 14th 20,000 newly hatched fingerlings were brought by the DNR and planted in Ed’s 14’ deep pond and it was Ed’s job to feed the fingerlings. Someone donated some free barrels of Stroh’s beer mash and these barrels were stored on Ed’s property so he then fed the mash to the fingerlings. The mash grew to plankton the fingerlings ate well!
Ed’s pond was a huge success and on August 8th 4,500 Walleye were taken from the pond - it was the most successful yield for a pond of that size. The Walleye were then released into the Clinton River near his home at 33-mile road where the river path led straight out to the lake. Over the next two years his pond again rendered some better results so in 1977 the Selfridge pond was also dug and the rest is history. Later the LSC Advisory Committee was disbanded and we the Lake St Clair Walleye Association took over the management of the ponds.
So looking back, we all owe Ed a great deal of thanks for helping start the first run of Walleye on the Clinton River - On our side of the Pond.
THANK YOU ED!
Note: 3 original articles about this Pond will be attached in this newsletter to view!