Your assistance is needed with a project to help the DNR make a population estimate of adult muskies in Lake Vermilion. Because of advances in genetic science, fisheries biologists can now identify individual fish through their unique DNA. This advance in genetic science presents an opportunity to do a mark-recapture population estimate of adult muskie in Lake Vermilion. In the spring of 2011, DNR Fisheries did a muskie population assessment on East Vermilion, using large trap nets to capture muskie while they were in shallow water spawning. Scale samples were collected from 205 muskies, providing DNA that will be used to identify each fish individually. These will be the marked fish for the study. DNR Fisheries will depend on muskie anglers to provide scale samples for DNA that will be the recapture part of the study. DNA analysis will match individual fish caught by both the DNR and anglers. A population estimate can then be made using the Peterson method, a formula widely used to make population estimates in both fish and wildlife. If you choose to participate, here is what you can do to help: Pick up some scale envelopes at your favorite resort or the tower DNR office. 1.) When you catch a muskie, use a small knife to scrape about six scales off the back of the fish. Scrape firmly with tip of the knife, towards the tail, to pull the scales out. This is probably most easily done when the fish is in the net along the side the boat. 2.) Place the scales in the envelope provided. Record the Locality, Date, and Length on the scale envelope. For Locality, just put the general area; like Big Bay, Frazer Bay, North of Pine Is., etc. For Length, you can record the estimated length if you choose not to measure the fish. 3.) Store the scale envelopes in a place where they can air-dry. Don’t put them in an air tight container or bag; this will cause the DNA to degrade. 4.) When convenient, you can return the scale envelopes to a member of the Lake Vermilion Guides League, a resort operator, or the Tower DNR office. Thanks for your help! This project will only be done on East Vermilion in 2011. Anglers should only provide scale samples from fish caught in East Vermilion, the area of the lake east of Oak Narrows. West Vermilion will be done in 2012.