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More Muskie Fishing -> Muskie Biology -> Michigan Proactive for Big Muskies
|Message Subject: Michigan Proactive for Big Muskies|
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
|From the Fishing Wire: |
Michigan to Move Muskellunge to Build Broodstock
| March 17, 2017
DNR will move muskellunge this spring in effort to build inland broodstock sources
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources continues to make advancements in the state's Great Lakes muskellunge program, and activities this spring will add to those efforts.
Since 2011, the DNR's Fisheries Division has collected spawning Great Lakes strain muskellunge in the Detroit River. The collected eggs are reared at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Mattawan and stocked throughout the state in fall. Although the Detroit River is a natural source of this native strain, it presents several challenges.
Water temperatures on the Detroit River typically do not reach optimal levels for spawning until late May or early June, much later than smaller inland waterbodies. This results in a short rearing period and fish not reaching maximum size for stocking each fall. Additionally, the Detroit River's expansiveness makes it extremely difficult to efficiently find spawning fish.
To offset these issues, DNR fisheries staff have been working to establish inland broodstock lakes. Since 2011, Thornapple Lake in Barry County has been stocked with Great Lakes strain muskellunge to establish a population large enough to provide a spawning population. Starting in 2017, Lake Hudson, previously the long-standing broodsource for northern strain muskellunge, was selected as the department's second broodstock lake. When the populations are large enough, spawning fish will be netted from these inland lakes rather than the Detroit River.
Because Lake Hudson and Thornapple Lake previously were both maintained as northern strain muskellunge broodstock lakes, the density of this species is higher than typical populations across Michigan. In order to reduce the numbers of competing predators in these waterbodies and to provide the best opportunity for the Great Lakes strain to succeed, DNR Fisheries Division will conduct trap and transfers this spring targeting the northern strain muskellunge.
Fish captured through these activities will be relocated to waters selected with the following criteria: absent of viable outlets to prevent escapement, suitable forage for adult muskellunge, not currently stocked with muskellunge (plus the two previous criteria) or have pre-existing northern strain muskellunge populations.
Northern muskellunge from both Thornapple Lake and Lake Hudson have undergone disease testing to ensure fish diseases will not be transferred to any of the recipient waters.
Up to 100 northern strain muskellunge will be captured in Thornapple Lake and transferred to Lower Crooked Lake (Barry County), which has a small muskellunge population remaining from stocking in the early 2000s. Up to 20 additional fish may be stocked into Long Lake (St. Joseph County) to supplement an existing muskellunge fishery. In addition, although northern pike will not be targeted during this effort, those captured will be transferred to areas downstream of Thornapple River dams located in Irving and Middleville. Northern pike can compete with muskellunge for food, and adult northern pike are potential predators of newly stocked muskellunge.
Up to 150 northern strain muskellunge will be captured from Lake Hudson and transferred to Orchard Lake (Oakland County). Orchard Lake is 850 acres located in a densely populated area. Although this will be a one-time stocking event, it should generate angler interest and excitement in an area currently lacking muskellunge fishing opportunities.
Following the transfer, muskellunge fishing opportunities on both Thornapple Lake and Lake Hudson should continue to be excellent due to their initial high densities. As the Great Lakes strain fish grow, they will provide even more exciting chances to hook a muskellunge.
In the future, fish reared as part of the DNR's Great Lakes strain muskellunge program will be stocked in Thornapple Lake and Lake Hudson as fall fingerlings or spring yearlings. Muskellunge generally are stocked in the fall, but Michigan and other states are experimenting with stocking of spring yearlings in an effort to increase survival of the Great Lakes strain fish.
For more information on how the DNR rears Great Lakes muskellunge, check out this story.
|Is MI still "trading" WI some Great Lakes fry for WI Strain yearlings? I know that trade has been going on for a few years, wasn't sure if that was still in place.|
|Way to rub it in ....... Here in Minnesota we are constantly battling with dirt ball legislators who are against Musky stocking programs and continue to introduce new bills yearly. The only ones who should be have any say is the DNR, they have been managing our lakes for a long long time. Wish our legislators would stay out of it.|
Edited by bbradley 3/17/2017 10:36 AM
Location: NE Wisconsin
|I heard MI lost all of their fingerlings last year and had nothing to stock. Is that true or did I get wrong information?|
Edited by Johnnie 3/17/2017 12:02 PM
Sadly, it's true.
But they DID stock many lakes last fall from last year's egg take; what were lost were YOY fish they wanted to over-winter in the rearing ponds to use to stock the broodstock lakes. We're told we'll get some fingerlings back from WI who got some MI eggs from last year's LSC egg harvest.
Edited by Chemi 3/17/2017 12:11 PM
|Have any of the great lakes fish been stocked in inland lakes already? If so how have they been doing?|
FlyPiker - 3/17/2017 3:40 PM Have any of the great lakes fish been stocked in inland lakes already? If so how have they been doing?Yes, for the last 5-6 years now, most of the fish raised and planted throughout MI have been GL strain from eggs taken from LSC. They do stock some northern strain in a few waters that don't connect to the Great Lakes. AFAIK the GLs are doing well.
|Michigan is going to be the new Minnesota,,I'm assuming some of those GL strain are going into new waters?? Which means first generation fish grow fast and big=gold rush boom. Get your vacation property,spot for a trailer etc now, and I hope Your musky regs trend toward over protection because I'm guessing a lot of the steelhead and salmon guys are going to want a shot at the bonanza.|
Location: Detroit River
|I'm happy to hear that Orchard Lake will be getting 150 musky from Lake Hudson but I wish they would put more in there than the 150 one time plant. The lake is deep & has the forage base to support more.|
Zib - 3/18/2017 3:24 PM I'm happy to hear that Orchard Lake will be getting 150 musky from Lake Hudson but I wish they would put more in there than the 150 one time plant. The lake is deep & has the forage base to support more.
You could read the article as saying they won't stock Orchard after this, but I think they meant that the moving of big fish is a one-time stocking thing. I expect they'll keep stocking Orchard with YOY fish like other lakes in the future, but that's just a guess.
|Interesting. Orchard Lake is just a couple miles from me, been fishing it for northern pike for the last 30 years.|
|Good news, but, dang, I used to live 15 minutes from Orchard Lake ... Good bass lake. |
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
happy hooker - 3/18/2017 2:29 PM Michigan is going to be the new Minnesota,,I'm assuming some of those GL strain are going into new waters?? Which means first generation fish grow fast and big=gold rush boom. Get your vacation property,spot for a trailer etc now, and I hope Your musky regs trend toward over protection because I'm guessing a lot of the steelhead and salmon guys are going to want a shot at the bonanza.
Not exactly "new" waters exactly but restoration of extirpated populations for the most part. In most of these they have an unlimited food supply and though they'll surely have that first gen growth, there's no reason to expect that later stocked fish will be any different.
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
happy hooker - 3/18/2017 2:29 PM Michigan is going to be the new Minnesota,
Funny that you said that. That was my goal 17 years ago... "Michigan can be the next MN" I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried it may take another 17 years if our management direction doesn't stop catering to harvest.
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