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cbrooks

stocking muskie in a local pond.

24 posts in this topic

Thought I'll throw this idea out there since I'm bored and curious what you all thought about this. In my town of Grand Forks there is a coolie diversion just outside of town. Its probably 1000 acres in size and reaches the depth of 18 feet. The only fish that was in there were bullhead and northerns. A local farmer in the area stock the lake with largemouth bass,blugill,and perch in 1987. Those species since then have done pretty well there have self sustain themselves. I was thinking since the bass have done well there maybe the muskie could thrive as well. The division water clarity has a bog color to it ,kinda like Red lake and it has alot of lake shrimp (jumbo perch). You catch alot of northerns in between 30 to 40 inches. I think muskies could really take off if I put some fingerlings in there. You think muskie can self sustain themselves in this environment? In order for muskies to be successful in a body of water what do they need besides food?

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I guess the first question would be do you have permission to stock muskies in the lake? lol

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At 1000 acres, you are talking about a decent sized lake and not a pond IMO. With a lot of predators in the lake already, you will have to stock a high number of fingerlings as most of them will be eaten at the fingerling stage. Not only will you have to stock a high number of them to get a few survivors to the adult age, but you will have to keep up with stocking efforts in the future as muskies do not naturally reproduce very well in general. This can be an expensive deal as well if you plan on doing this yourself. And at only 18 feet deep, is there any winter kill that happens that you know of? Muskies do like to have some deep water nearby for comfort reasons. An 18 ft. lake can get mighty warm in the heat of the summer as well.

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I don't think the farmer who stock the lake had permission. No one is complaining either. I guess I could see where it could be a problem were this division does flow into the Red river that flows into Canada. I'm not saying I'm gonna do this, just thought it would be cool if I did do it and the muskie population actually would survive. I've talk to the farmer that did it and he thinks its great that those fish are still around. He was talking about putting crappies in there next. The local DNR knows he did it, no harm no problem. Why not muskies?

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As we all know as muskie fishermen, there is always a strong opposition to muskie stocking on any body of water. No one seems to mind that the farmer stocked fish in the lake because those are the most desired fish by the general fishing population. My advice is to get permission, especially with the DNR before you do anything.

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To think about it its more like 600 acres and its six ponds that connect to each other,sorry about the confusion. You don't think that if you put maybe 200 fingerlings in there that would it.

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Maybe Shawn Kellett will chime in here because I remember him posting some information as to how many fingerlings actually survive to adult age after being stocked. I think it was like 1%, but I'm not positive. I do know it was low though, especially when introduced into a lake with a high number of big predators such as pike and walleyes.

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Yea, I kind thought of that too. If I was stocking walleyes that would be fine but appex predator that would be bad. It was just a thought ,thanks for the advice.

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I think it would be a waste of time,effort, and musky-lings. If fisherman are already catching 30-40 inch pike, those slough sharks rule the small lake. Muskies grow way too slow, and pike are way too voracious. We tried it years ago in Illinois on a private farm pond 950 acres some deep water, tons of baitfish, panfish, nice bass (2lb average) and pike (10-30+ inchers). We put 300 musky fingerlings in one fall. To this day a musky has never been seen and it is fished pretty frequent. I'm not saying it wouldn't work - But with changing regulations for fisheries and hatcheries, I'd say, leave the fingerlings to a body of water that is more probable to sustain them.

It would be neat though.

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I was thinking that if the bass were able to spawn successfully maybe the muskie could pull it off since both bass and muskie spawn about the same time, I think? Well it probably is a waste. Thought I could start the first body of water that is fishable for muskies in the state of North Dakota. Maybe some day.

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the problem is the pike spawn earlier and feed on the muskie fry

not the question of if there is habitat for them, it sounds like pike are too established

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Blue, great response - Pike spawn at ice out and stay in the shallow bays and creeks where muskies often spawn - Bass spawn not to much later - Muskies do it when the water is 50-55 degees. (in my area) Well after the water turns soft. It is a difficult battle for eggs, fry, and fingerlings to survive a post Pike and Bass spawn. In actuality bass probably eat more musky fry than pike. However after females lay eggs, the biggest predators are carp and suckers. They gorge on fresh spawn. It's insane to watch them chase muskies out of their spawning areas. This year, I'm going to try to get some footage of it. But never-the-less, it is a tough task for lil' muskies to survive in a rich predator environment. Post or pre-spawn.

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Thats interesting I didn't know that suckers and carp feed on there eggs. I thought I read something somewhere that leech lake strain muskie are so resilent when it comes to spawning in pike waters. I could be wrong but it was something about the muskie spawning up shallow where there wasn't as much predators to eat the frys. Can't remember where I read that, is there any truth to this?Thanks for all the replies, alot of good stuff here.

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Bass feed more on fry, due to their locations - As they grow to fingerlings and spread out to more dangerous territory other fish besides bass become a threat. We have even cut open walleyes to find a fingerling in it's belly.

The carp thing is pretty nuts. I have a mouth to a small river not to far from my home where muskies spawn. For years I would go back there to chase away people trying to catch or snag them out of season. Not really malicious fisherman, but usually kids who see a big fish, don't know the regs, and just want to slay a beast.

Anyway, as soon as the females drop their eggs, the males would move onto the beds. Not to long after that, a day or so, the big rough fish would move in and you could actually watch a half dozen 10-20lb carp pushing these muskies off the beds as they ravage the small areas. It is sad, but it is something to behold.

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I should take up bowfishing for carp. Where is that place your talking about,just kidding. My aim with the bow is pitiful.It seems like the muskie archillies heel is the fact that they spawn so late in the year. So the males actually guard the eggs like bass do? I did not know that.

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If it was me I don't know if I'd sink my money into it. 1000 acres isn't really a pond IMOP. Since it's got predators already you're going to need to stock more then if you were starting with a clean pond. If you want a fishable population you're going to be looking at around $3000-$5000+/year class to stock it right and maybe more. You could go on a lot of trips to Canada for that. If it didn't have any other predators you could do it for less then 1/2 that I would think.

There's also the issue of getting the fish. The fish farmers CAN'T transport muskies without a permit. They can't get a permit without the signoff from the DNR. I don't know if your DNR would signoff on your plan.

If you just drop a few in there and hope they'll reproduce you'll be pretty disappointing. I doubt that a few introduced muskies will be able to populate the lake that well or very quickly.

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Thanks for the reply. It was just a thought I had. If one fish can make it ,why can't this fish make it.Got alot of interesting replies with good information which I appreciate. Thanks again everybody and I will not be doing any stocking.

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Quote:
that leech lake strain muskie are so resilent when it comes to spawning in pike waters

leech lake muskie were studied because they did so well and no one really knew why for sure. durring the study they were trying basicly to find the spawning areas and study them spawning, measure and take other samples. years on years went by and nobody knew where they spawned. being a massive lake they weren't suprised by it taking so long. it was a total mystery. then the tracking device was born, or at least affordable enough to be used. what they found was strange. normally a pike will spawn in shallow waters a couple to maybe three feet and muskie "normally" spawn in the same type of areas, much later as mentioned, sometimes in the same exact spots. the northern (other fry avoid the areas or get munched) fry are big enough to decimate the muskie hatchlings. what the teams discovered was leech lake muskie spawn in water 5-7 feet not 2-3 feet. so northern fry are not in the areas as thick and most times not at all. so more survive. then they knew why they had such a hard time finding muskie spawning in leech. they were unlike any other known at that time. this is one of the best reasons the leech strain is used for stocking. they hold true,, at the point i learned this some years back,, to spawning just like the leech muskies so they reproduce better.... if they are going to at all.

on stocking. really theres a lot of reasons there are rules about stocking, not the least of which is destroying native populations of species. it sounds like theres not many natives in there so ask the DNR. if your willing i bet they say go for it. but i'd think about some older fish along with the fingerlings. for the sake of your own study and better survival.

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Well maybe I could just call the DNR and get there opinion on it.It couldn't hurt to ask for permission. I'm kinda curious what there response would be. Its not like North Dakota DNR has a muskie stocking program.

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Maybe the DNR would stock them and you wouldn't have to pay for it...worth rattling the cage a little?

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Thats probably not gonna happen at this place... I have however fished this body of water and there are nice pike in there, caught about 40+ northern while finding the depth with a clip on depth finder on my hook.

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Man, I have not been out there in years. I would imagine the perch have some size now. There is Musky in Devils Lake isn't there?

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I was out there last Sunday had a few LM hit my phantom lure. One had to be 20+ inches. The bass action has pick up alot in the last few years. Talk to others that do well in the winter fishing perch. The diversion doesn't get the pressure it use to get. That place use to get pounded. I know there's big pike in there. The biggest I caught was 39 inches.

I talk to a guide on devils lake about muskies being in there. He told me he has caught a few tigers in there in the 40 inch range but no pure strains. I don't think there is a fishable population in there.

I'm still meaning to give the DNR a call about the possibilities of stocking muskies in the coolie diversion or any lake in this state.

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Sounds like a good northern fishery if there are numerous 30-40" fish. Not too many lakes at a 1000 acres that can support that kind of growth and population. If it ain't broke.....

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