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Muskiefool

The Muskie Truth

54 posts in this topic

MINNESOTA MUSKIES

Now We Really Know

For many years these fish were misunderstood by the people who fished them and those who tried to manage them as a natural resource. Now most of the questions about Muskies have scientifically sound answers.

Muskies! Who Needs Them?

Several generations of anglers have subjected Northern Pike to over-harvest; this coupled with the loss of spawning habitat and water pollution has in many cases this created “Hammer Handle” lakes. When all the big predator fish are gone, the rough and stunted fish take over and can damage the fishery. Muskies introduced into these damaged lakes take the place of that former top predator by controlling rough fish as well as stunted fish naturally.

A 2006 University of Minnesota Survey shows a growing need for new lakes stating. “Adjusted estimate of licensed Minnesota anglers who report fishing for Muskie is 14% [168,000 resident anglers]” 1

Muskies and Spearing

Spearing Muskies is illegal in Minnesota. There are spearing bans on 26 lakes due to the fact they are trophy lakes, brood stock lakes, or lakes that need the additional protection of small Muskies due to low natural numbers. As stated in the 2008 Long Range Large Pike and Muskie plan “Any new lakes will not have any spearing bans.”2-8 We will continue to work with the spearing community to assure their future as well.

How will Muskies affect a Lake?

Lakes like; Winnibigoshish, Leech, Lake of the Woods, Vermillion and Mille Lacs and the Mississippi River are some of the best fisheries for Walleye and Panfish in the state. These are the quality lakes anglers have enjoyed for hundreds of years; all contain Muskies, some for thousands of years.

The MN DNR in 2007 conducted an extensive study on all 41 stocked Muskie lakes; here is their final result: “The lack of negative (or any) trends across all species, lakes, and lake classes, the tendency for most lakes to be within or above the lake class (suggests) that the fish species in this study have coexisted well with Muskies in these types of lakes and at the densities the MN DNR manages Muskies” 3

A 2005 study from Wisconsin looks into how different species interact with one another; this is the conclusion on Muskies. “Because muskellunge abundances were positively correlated to walleye abundances, direct competition or predation is unlikely to be occurring between these two species.” 4

How Do They Decide What to Stock?

The MN DNR has a stringent list of requirements and research that must be met before they stock any variety of fish. This study involves both social and biological issues. They assess the forage as well as the need for the fish from public requests. Then they call public meetings to get input and answer any concerns.

Are Muskies Trouble?

Anglers who oppose Muskies have used excerpts of field notes from Wisconsin, they have wrongly been used as actual studies; the Wisconsin DNR has reviewed, discredited and discounted them as having been taken out of context. Musky Troubles have also mentioned a 1984 technical report from Michigan on Iron Lake; 7 it was managed as a Muskie brood-stock lake and overstocked for decades, resulting in problems that would arise with any species that are over abundant in a lake.

Will They Overpopulate Our Lake?

A healthy population of Muskies is a low number of large trophy fish. Most lakes where they are stocked have very little or no natural reproduction. These populations depend on stocking for the future. The MN DNR monitors the population very closely. There are no examples of overpopulation or damage to the fishery in the state of Minnesota from Muskie stocking 3.

Catch and Release Is Important!

Any fish species benefit from a catch and release of its large specimens, some require this extra protection. Because Muskie populations are low the value of an individual fish is high. Delayed mortality can be a problem when fish are mishandled or improperly released. However; fish mortality can be less than 1% when artificial lures (optimized tackle) and correct fish-handling techniques are used as found in this 2004 study. “Relatively low levels of fish mortality are associated with catch and release fishing. Scientific evidence further indicates that the use of selected optimized tackle and techniques can then further reduce catch and release mortality rates.” 5

So What?

We hope this information will help you understand a bit more about these fabled fish. Muskies are enticing. They can also be important to local lakes, lakeshore owners and surrounding communities since there are roughly 100 waters with Muskies out of 13,000. Resorts and local businesses have prospered from areas having great Muskie fishing. Muskies are an important ingredient in Minnesota’s reputation of having some of the best overall fishing in North America.

If you have questions or concerns call your local or State DNR office to discuss this information.

1-(888) 646-6367

Thank You and Good Fishing

Sources:

1Managing Muskie in Minnesota

2007, Sue Schroeder, David C. Fulton, Robert A. Dodd

Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology University of Minnesota, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology University of Minnesota.

2Long Range Plan for Muskellunge and Large Northern Pike Management through 2020, 2008 This plan was created by MN DNR and Stakeholders from the Esocide Workshops including public input over a 2 year period and will be used as a management plan through year 2020.

3Fish Community Response to Muskie Introduction in Minnesota Lakes, MN DNR M.Knapp., S.Mero, and D. Bohlander. 2007.

4Interactions between Walleyes and Four Fish Species with

Implications for Walleye Stocking, 2005 ANDREW H. FAYRAM, MICHAEL HANSEN, TIMOTHY EHLINGER

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection

5Catch and Release Fishing Effectiveness and Mortality

2004, P. Reiss, [PoorWordUsage]. a, M. Reiss, PhD.b, J. Reiss, [PoorWordUsage].c a CEO, Acute Angling, Inc.; b Dept. of Material Science, Univ. of Maryland; c Lab. Supvr., Dept. of

Neurobiology, RutgersUniv.

7Introduction and management of Northern Muskellunge in Iron Lake Michicgan 1984, D.H. Siler and G.B. Beyerle

8Esocide workshops, MN DNR, 2006-2008 {Groups involved, Sportsmen for Responsible Musky Management [A group comprised of Northerns Inc. and The MN Dark House Anglers Association], Minnesota Muskie Alliance, Muskies Inc., Outdoor writers, Concerned Northern Pike and Muskie stakeholders that are unaffiliated with any organization.}

Minnesota Muskie Alliance (MMA) is a not for profit organization comprised of all 11 Minnesota Muskies inc. Chapters.

If you have any questions or would like to view any of this research in its entirety send an e-mail to muskietruth@yahoo.com we will return your request as soon as possible.

Created and approved by: Chapter 54 Muskies Inc and Minnesota Muskie Alliance. © 2009

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...

A 2006 University of Minnesota Survey shows a growing need for new lakes stating. “Adjusted estimate of licensed Minnesota anglers who report fishing for Muskie is 14% [168,000 resident anglers]” 1...

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Good luck with that rationalle, Jameson. You math is fuzzy- LOW, for example, doesn't have virtually any fishable muskie waters in MN, so to include it is misleading. A bunch of other examples factor into your calculations being out of whack.

Prepare to be beaten about the head by others...

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Thanks for article and I appreciate all the effort you do for protecting minnesota resources. I wish our state had organization like the ones you listed.

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You wouldn't think it would be tough to combat anti-musky propaganda and skewed facts with ACTUAL SCIENCE but it's a never ending battle.

The LOW arguement is one of their favorites.

Thanks for all your efforts in cutting through the wool for us once again, John.

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Great work John,

I do hope that all the Muskie anglers in Minnesota, realize and appreciate, all of the hard work that you do for our MN Muskie fishery. The time and energy that you donate to the cause boggles the mind. smile

It's all to apparent that even with this solid scientific information, that the anti's will still be at the throat of the Muskie program. My thanks again John and I'll see you on the 28th.

"Ace"

Ace guide service.

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Great read.

I'm ok with people disagreeing, but misleading is another thing all together.

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Nice read there John, thanks. People will always disagree over studies, etc, like the saying goes something you can turn stats around to read it anyway you like.

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Thanks John. great read and great info. it's amazing how much needs to be studied and restudied and backed up with a side study and then study the study for the study and.... exasperating.

the antis, lol what a stigma. reminds of the type back in high school with the quick change trick. you know ask an unsuspecting innocent for change. ''you got 2 5's and 5 1's for a ten''? good thing this aint high school anymore and that stuff don't work anymore. um... no i never fell for it whistle

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I like reading....this is fun read..but!

Don't know if muskie fish were around as they are now hundreds or thousands of years ago?

known a few fishen girls & bar flys been around that long an they never mention muskie fish!!!

Smell like'em yes / sure but talk about them being caught..I don't know?

smile

Humor is the spice of life.

Tommy.

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I'm not sure Jameson's beef, 116 waters, well my answer would be fish one of the 9,884 lakes that don't have them then. The water % is skewed too, LOTW basin MN is what % ? And like 8 muskie lakes probably make up 30 % of that 35%. The way I see the muskie water list is most of those waters are excellent walleye waters so what's the deal ? My own belief is that stunted northern pike numbers hurt the walleyes the most. They are looking for small prey and a nice little walleye they would like to hit, they hit perch with dorsal fins so I'd think they hit the little walleyes too and there are hundreds of them in most lakes. We should stock more lakes, reason, I see quite a few empty public accesses because once July hits they are almost impossible to walleye fish due to weed growth etc. So basically there is a month of walleye fishing followed by 5 months where no one is hardly fishing the lake(s). I trust our fisheries people, I would think if there test nets showed significant problems the stocking or stopping stocking, I think they'd do what's best.

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Nice job John. The truth shall set you free, or something like that. Jameson I think those fish contaminents are getting to ya bud crazy Dan Crooms

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Originally Posted By: Muskiefool
...

A 2006 University of Minnesota Survey shows a growing need for new lakes stating. “Adjusted estimate of licensed Minnesota anglers who report fishing for Muskie is 14% [168,000 resident anglers]” 1...

Quote:
Currently 116 waters (including Lake of the Woods) are managed for muskellunge and hybrid (tiger) muskellunge totaling about 790,000 acres (Appendix A), which represents about 35% of accessible lake acreage in Minnesota.

The above quote came from here: DNR long-range ...page

35% of MN waters are already managed for 14% of our anglers. No need for new muskie waters.

So let me get this straight, you're gonna take data from 2006 in regards to numbers of fisherman and compare it to current lake data? Was the survey taken in 06 or published in 06? Details details...

You do realize how dramatic of an increase there has been in the numbers of muskie fisherman in the last 3-4 years...let alone the last 10. It sure isn't showing any signs of stopping either with generations starting to overlap with the interest now.

But hey, stop by, cast those stones anytime. You really showed us!

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Musky Buck, you've got it right on. I didn't do the math Jameson did to come up with 35% of our waters, but I have to assume he did it by surface area, because if you do it by just destination waters then we're talking 14% of all anglers must head to approximately 1% or less of the available destinations to fish muskies. And that's only when they're musky fishing, we all know many musky anglers fish other species as well.

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See this is why we need the truth, a guy sticks up for the pike fishery & OUR DNR & you get blasted with your anti-spearing and your fish cost too much, ect....... Funny they don't like to talk about cost per catch if you did that muskies would probably be bargan basement compared to other fish. Useing surface acres is just one of the smokeing mirrors the anti-muskie people like to use, my personal favorite is the damage they do to the fishery. Name the 10 best walleye lakes in the state, yep 90% have muskies in the system some stocked some not. If muskies ate all the walleye in a lake how come I can still catch them on Millelacs, Winne, Leech, Cass, Miltona, on and on?

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The ONLY thing boring about muskie fishing in MN is that there are very few muskie lakes with a fishable population. I do enjoy the lakes I fish on, but it does get a little old hitting the same lakes every day. Living in St. Cloud there really isn't any thing close. I'm driving at least an hour to hit a decent lake. If I wanted to fish pike, there are a ton of options as pretty much every lake has them in it. Not only that, but there is evidence that large pike and muskies can and will co-exist just fine with each other as well as other popular gamefish. So, I don't get why there are so many opposed to the introduction of muskie. It just never seems to get through some peoples heads no matter how many times you tell them. Through one ear and out the other.

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Muskies are expensive, there's no doubt about that. I'm not saying walleye stocking is any more cost effective, but I know raising a fish to 10"-12" before it's stocked is pretty pricy...

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But lets take into account these "pricey fish" are being cought at least once a year and live for aprox. 20 yrs. SO I will do my kids 2nd grade math for you. Muskie A costs $12.50, Muskie A gets cought 15 times in its life {see this is why C&R is important people}what is the cost per catch? It comes out to .84 cents a catch, see they are a bargin if you look at it that way, how many times is a walleye cought be for he's supper? Oh and don't forget what they bring to a local economy!

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I would argue the part about Vermilion being a great fishery for walleyes or anything else other than muskies.

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Why would you argue that FF? Is it only because you've possibly not gotten into good fishing? Ask anybody that has fished the lake on even a semi-regular basis over the last several years - the walleye bite they've enjoyed in just the last couple years, with muskie fishing good and muskie fishing pressure at a high point, has been nothing short of spectacular. And bass fishing is phenomenal. Makes me wonder...

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But lets take into account these "pricey fish" are being cought at least once a year and live for aprox. 20 yrs. SO I will do my kids 2nd grade math for you. Muskie A costs $12.50, Muskie A gets cought 15 times in its life {see this is why C&R is important people}what is the cost per catch? It comes out to .84 cents a catch, see they are a bargin if you look at it that way, how many times is a walleye cought be for he's supper? Oh and don't forget what they bring to a local economy!

Yeah, but it only costs 6 cents to produce a walleye fingerling... so if only 1 of every 14 walleye fingerling were ever caught and kept (and this is assuming that every muskie fingerling survives and is caught 15 times, which doesn't happen) there would be your break even point in cost effectiveness...

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The smallies are awesome on the V...Couple years ago we had a houseboat trip with my uncles and grandpa and did very well for eyes, smallies and pike!

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