Management Efforts Help Minnesota Muskie Fishing

By on June 19, 2015
Muskie from Mann Lake, MN. (Credit: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

After muskies were first stocked in Minnesota’s Sauk River Chain of Lakes, fisheries scientists in the state realized the opportunity they had to study the growth of a new fish population, according to Detroit Lakes Online. So beginning in 2013, scientists in Montrose, Minnesota, began to implant electronic tags into the muskies to track them.

“It’s a new fish to the system. We don’t really know what the growth potential is out there. It will be neat to find out,” said Joe Stewig, fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in the article. “Some of these fish will be marked, and we will then be able to track their growth throughout their lives.”

The goal is to recapture some of the tagged fish during fall electrofishing work that occurs each year. When a tagged fish is caught, researchers record data on its length, sex and location, and then return it to the waters it came from.

The tagging efforts on the Sauk River Chain are just one of several ongoing fish studies that the DNR is working on. Near Walker, Minnesota, fisheries scientists are using DNA analysis to trace the ancestries of individual fish, including muskie. And a work near Lake Minnetonka is tracking the survival numbers of fingerling and yearling muskies.

“As anglers head into the muskie season that began June 6, they are enjoying opportunities that came about largely due to research-based management,” said Don Pereira, fisheries section chief at the DNR, to Detroit Lakes Online. “Better information can lead to better fishing in a state that’s already a renowned muskie fishing destination.”

Top image: Muskie from Mann Lake, MN. (Credit: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

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