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PIERRE, SD -

The walleye population in Lake Oahe is still struggling to rebound from the 2011 Missouri River flood, but one bright spot is that the fish that are in the lake are getting bigger.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks senior fisheries biologist Mark Fincel said walleye and other game fish in Oahe are getting a boost from large numbers of baitfish such as young white bass, perch and shiners.

The average fish caught by anglers this year on the Dakotas reservoir was about 16 inches, an inch bigger than last year's average.

Another positive sign for the fishery is that numbers of smelt and lake herring baitfish have been slowly increasing since 2013. Those baitfish provide the fatty food that sustain older, larger walleyes.

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