Return to >> Home <<


Mason County Walleye Association, PO Box 218, Ludington, MI 49431


Mason County Walleye Association is a nonprofit, charitable organization recognized under 501(c)(3) of the internal Revenue Tax Code as tax-deductible.  Our Federal Tax I.D. No. is 38-2768083.


The mission of the Walleye Association is to raise walleye for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  We receive the walleye fry from the MDNR shortly after the eggs are hatched and raise them in our rearing pond until they are large enough to be transplanted to larger lakes.  The pond is designed to provide the natural food needed and at the same time protect the young fish from predators until they are of sufficient size to be collected, returned to the DNR and transported to lakes in the northwest part of the state of Michigan.


The Mason County Walleye Association raises these fish at our cost for the state agency responsible for managing the sport fishery in Michigan.  Because we pay the costs of operating the pond and the associated facility, we have been afforded the status we have under 501(c)(3) of the tax code.


The facility we operated for the DNR provide additional fish that they need to maintain the sport fishery for the public.  Walleye are difficult fish to raise and do not reproduce in large enough numbers in the lakes and rivers in the state to naturally support the fishery.  Therefore, the DNR welcomes the fish we provide so they can meet their obligations without having to fund the expense.  The fish are expensive for the DNR to raise since raising them is very labor intensive.  Our organization is comprised of volunteers, so we have only the direct costs and no labor costs.


Our raising these walleye has a very favorable impact to our community.  We make contributions in two areas.  We improve the recreational fishing opportunities for both residents and visitors, and we contribute to the local economy as visitors come here to enjoy the fishing.  The sport fishermen who take advantage of these opportunities come in all ages and both genders.


Our association has been raising fish and operating the pond for the MDNR since 1989.  So far we have raised over 3.5 million fish.  We have had a very favorable impact on the walleye fishery in Mason County and in other counties in the northwest part of the state.  As of 2012, Hamlin Lake had received over 1 million fish and is scheduled to receive 155,000 this year.  Hackert Lake has received over 77,000 fish.


Funding for our association is by fund raising banquets and donations from the public.  We appreciate the support we have had from the public and from the firms who do business in our community.  To make a donation, inquire about membership, or obtain information you can mail us or contact Carter Koles, President, at 231-843-2183 or email him at


“Making Mason County A Fisherman’s Paradise”