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The future of Muskies and Stocking

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The Long Range Plan is in trouble

The unfortunate reality is that within the next few weeks the future on Muskie fishing will be determined and all the work of all the people who have fought to make this plan a reality and build on the work that a handful of visionaries created in the past will be swept under the rug.

I have my thoughts as to how many will actually care on that day because they will be on the "HOT" bite on Mille Lacs, etc. or it would be their last vacation day, maybe they may not get paid to take a day or half day off.

The time is now, we've written all the letters, we've made all the calls, it's time for us to show the MN DNR just how much we care about our foundation and the future, you as Muskie fishermen MI members or not it really doesn't matter have a choice to make if you want to see the MN Muskie program crumble.

Sure you'll be able to reap the rewards of previous stockings over the past 26 years for a few more before it starts to rapidly deteriorate as it most assuredly will if this plan is defeated through the mechanics of a handful of anti Muskie anti fishing fanatics.

I have heard all the PETA this and that on every site and in every circle of outdoorsmen and women, the truth is you don't have to worry about the PETA freaks, you have to worry about, the 2 people that camp out at the state capitol the guy that's been appointed by our Governor to the Conservation Legacy Council to recommend the appropriation of funds for your fishery, he is also leading the Anti Muskie fight.

If you care about the future of Muskies in MN and across the range I would take a few hrs to act.

MN DNR needs to know how much this means to our fishery and to us or you'll be getting better acquainted with the Longville Walker area and 3-5 hr drives to a Muskie lake, these people are serious and they are organized.

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i put a post up in the st croix forum a few months back pretty much predicting the happenings in the fisheries dept. most just blew it off pretty much but if the dnr as a whole does'nt get ''MONEY'' everything will be cut to shreds, not just fisheries. the legislators are going to take from where they can take to pay their sallary increase next session.... i'm not laughing... plain and simple. theres only one sure way i can think of that will get the fisheries more money. plenty of ''maybe's'' but one ''sure'' way is sell a license stamp for a second line. that would generate millions at 7 bucks a pop. that would help the fisheries as a whole, and the musky/northern need a stamp as well. sell for both to allieviate confusion about who's fishing what and put a limit on lure size if you don't have the 2 or 3 dollar stamp. don't enforce in certain parts of the state like on superior and that. that would help musky. we need to face this the way it is. the dnr needs funds. plain and simple. without them ''EVERY'' fish stocking program is doomed. sure they'll (legislators) appease the public with ''oh well we're stocking more walleyes''. then thats gone next. lobbying to keep something without a plan to generate cash that others, that make the laws, say cost too much is futile. organization is a misnomer when money is their fuel for their fire. muskyfool, please give the source of your info so we can read it up and schedule for it. thanks

on a side note the original post revolved arround the fact that less and less kids are fishing and the fisheries are losing mony blah blah blah. a second line would help kids stay busy and give them a chance to actually catch fish. but i typed myself out in that post. besides. i only fish self replenishing waters anyway... so really.... why do i care? not sure, i just do.

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I believe that we have a pretty good stocking program here and a lot of people consider MN a destination for muskie fishing. The fact is there are 98 pure-strian muskie waters in the state plus an additional 21 lakes in the twin cites where tiger muskies have been stocked.

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I believe that we have a pretty good stocking program here and a lot of people consider MN a destination for muskie fishing. The fact is there are 98 pure-strian muskie waters in the state plus an additional 21 lakes in the twin cites where tiger muskies have been stocked

more reason to keep it going. but without money there isn't anything to stock. fact: the fisheries dept. is scared to death to raise the licence fee's in minnesota. they are already losing fisherman every year and a raise in fee's they believe will cripple them even more. that's why a second line is a win/win. people can buy one if they wish, or pay a second line stamp if they ''choose'' too. . choice is always good. kids can throw a big bobber out with a sucker and mabe get a big'un while they haul in all the potato chip pannies. get's them excited about fishing instead of bored. kids don't like sitting and staring, they want to learn and have fun. two lines leaves no room for bordom as theres always something to do. i.e. check minnow, change bait, reel in sunnie, put on worm, endless fun and learning. same kid one line is sitting doing nothing at least half the time. in a few years without more income the lower half of the state is going to start seeing no fish. maybe they can just make it 100% CPR,C&R only from red lake south to iowa. hmmmm. that would help fish populations. i donate every year what i think i can afford and lately on my tax form and give lures for their kids programs and later in september i donate again what i can afford. had some reels around i never use anymore and gave them up this spring, after i cleaned them up and lubed em real good of course.. they normally have rods on standby waiting for reels... just so you know. i urge anyone who cares about our fisheries to give what you can even if it's just a few bucks, or just don't buy one muskie lure this year and give them the cash eek LOL . times are hard but without the sport we love hard will have a brand new meaning. call the downtown st.paul main headquarters and ask what you can do. or e-mail the webmaster. let them know you care. it can't hurt. wink

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Do you have a link with this info or anything we can do? Otherwise this is just a rant =)

I found this, Star Tribune Article and it doesn't sound too bad if your a Muskie guy, although this Kirt Schnitker seems to need a swift kick in the rear.

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I'll keep you posted this is not a rant my apologies if it seemed as such, Here is my letter to the editor in regards to that Star tribune writ up that you'll probably never see due to the size of my reply I also added info from WI DNR's response.

To whom it may concern:

For the past few years I’ve been involved with the Esocide Workshop along with Mr. Schnitcker, Kellett, Carper and Goeschel. Its been a great pleasure and a great disappointment considering the relentless anti Muskie, anti Muskie stocking agenda that some continue to push with unfounded opinions to gather fear amongst those that don't have all the available information, I’ll attempt to clear up and answer some of these opinions with the facts as we have learned and our position we have stated repeatedly.

It was Sportsmen for Responsible Muskie Management that wanted the Long Rang Plan along with wanting more studies, continually stating study first then stock, we all agreed with this and Muskies Inc the Minnesota Muskie Alliance and the other non affiliated Muskie and Pike members of the group wanted the same, we also wanted to have an idea about how many were perusing Muskie and make a plan to create a great fishery with more opportunity for everyone not just Muskie Anglers.

We got the study from MN DNR in June of 2007 they made two presentations showing that Muskies had a negligible effects on all of the 41 stocked lakes concluding in their Draft, "The lack of any consistent trends across species, lakes or lake classes, combined with the tendency for most lakes to be within or above the lake class interquartile range suggests that the fish species considered in this study have coexisted well with muskellunge in the types of lakes and at the densities the MN DNR manages muskellunge".

It was stated that MNDNR is ignoring facts from WI studies, these are not studies, they are items taken out of context from notes taken from a WI biologist, he and the WIDNR have denounced all of this information in a formal letter to the fisherman of MN, its not a study by any stretch of the imagination, here is impart the WI DNR response to the use of these notes, ”Skip and I feel that some of the statements in his unpublished management reports and draft manuscripts have been taken out of context and used to promote the agenda of a few folks in Minnesota who have expressed the unfounded fear that any number of muskellunge in a lake are bad for the rest of the fish community. That is a misuse of Skip’s data and a misrepresentation of his opinions.”

The MN DNR is not stuck in the middle, we anglers are accepting of their recommendations and respectful of their continued work on our resources no matter the species, MN has some of the best fishing opportunities on the planet and possibly the best Muskie fishing in the world due to their efforts, they are not on the wrong track this is simply anti DNR rhetoric.

The University of Minnesota did a angler survey to determine the number of Muskie anglers and their level of involvement in Muskie fishing, they presented their facts and findings to us in September 2007, this was in no way influenced by anyone or by outside involvement, what makes it so important is that it shows this genre growing faster than any other in our State.

Research has shown Muskies eat less that 2% walleye in their diets despite the fact they inhabit the same structure and areas, some of the greatest Muskie fisheries are the best Walleye as well as Pan fish and Pike, research shows Muskies have a positive impact on the number of adult Walleyes, and any other talk is merely opinionated misdirection research from Wisconsin shows this result, "While muskellunge and walleyes can be spatially segregated at times, we frequently found walleyes and muskellunge in close proximity at night; yet when fresh prey in muskellunge stomachs was examined in these cases, walleyes were rare. It appears that walleyes are either not preferred by muskellunge or are capable of avoiding muskellunge".

Another study reports this finding,”Muskellunge abundances were positively correlated to walleye abundances, direct competition or predation is unlikely to be occurring between these two species."

Our Muskie lakes are being pressured at record levels from all anglers due to the fact that these are the most sought after fisheries due to the overall great fishing they provide for all of us, there is much need for new lakes in our state.

We have stated repeatedly and to much extent that Muskies Inc and the MMA will not endorse or seek spearing bans on new Muskie lakes, which will be our continued policy.

There is no evidence I’ve seen or that has been shown that would indicate Muskies cause a Hammer Handle situation, the fact is that Cedar lake in Aitkin Co. once considered a Hammer handle lake is now a great Pike fishery and the DNR expects it to just get better, as a matter of fact Northerns Inc holds a gathering on the lake now that occurred June 21st despite the fact it has Muskie, it has become a fine fishery since the introduction of Muskie in 1994 with the MN DNR stating this in their report of the lake.” Northern pike angling traditionally has been good on Cedar Lake and is likely to get better. There are two notable changes in the northern pike population observed since the last survey. First, the northern pike have decreased in abundance and second, the northern pike length frequency distribution has shown a shift toward larger fish. For many years Cedar Lake, like many lakes throughout central Minnesota, had an over abundant northern pike population that was dominated by small "hammer handle" northern pike. In 1997 only twenty-five percent of the northern pike sampled were 20 inches long or longer. In 2002 almost one-half of the northern pike sampled were 20 inches or greater in length."

If anyone would like the studies and research that MN has conducted and would like to form an educated opinion free from speculation and the bias of Anti Fishing agendas please e-mail and I’ll make sure you are given the Facts as they stand from MN and WI DNR.


John Underhill

Vice President Muskies Inc Chapter 54

Co- Chair Minnesota Muskie Alliance

Thank You


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