- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

BRIGHTON, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says Island Pond in the Northeast Kingdom has become a destination for anglers seeking to catch walleye.

The Island Pond walleye population was first established through stocking roughly a century ago, but by the 1980s the population had almost disappeared. Stocking was restored between 2000 and 2008 in hopes of establishing a self-sustaining population. But after six years of monitoring biologists determined natural reproduction was not enough to meet angler demand. The 600-acre pond in Brighton was stocked with 14,350 of the popular game fish this season.

Since the stocking began, the pond has become a popular walleye fishing destination. The department says that 20 out of the 28 walleye entered in the 2014 Wright’s Northeast Kingdom Ice Fishing Derby came from Island Pond.

“While we were waiting to see if the population could maintain itself without stocking, Island Pond became a popular location for walleye fishing,” said Vermont fisheries Biologist Jud Kratzer. “We decided to continue to support the walleye population there with regular stocking, which will help promote an important recreational fishing opportunity.”

The plan now is to stock Island Pond every other year.

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