Lake Rebecca Muskie Egg-Take

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Located entirely within a Three Rivers Park District Park Reserve external link, 254-acre Lake Rebecca is used to produce muskellunge (muskie) and tiger muskie eggs for statewide stocking needs.  Annual muskie egg collections from Rebecca began in 1987.

 

Since 1982, small muskies from Leech Lake sources have been stocked to perpetuate a population; the lake is unsuitable for natural reproduction. Lake Rebecca naturally supports a bass-panfish mix similar to many local lakes.

 

The egg-take begins soon after ice-out. Lake conditions are monitored closely to maximize capture of egg-producing ("ripe") females. Operations can occur from early April to early May; the third week of April has been typical.  Actual egg collection is often completed within a week. Duration and success of the egg-take are affected by weather, number and type of fish captured, and the annual muskie stocking needs.

 

About 75 muskies are caught each season, and about 20 of those are females able to provide eggs. Seasonal average production has been 930,000 eggs.  An individual female produces about a quart of eggs; larger females produce more. (provisional 2014 season data:  May 5-14 [second-latest-ever start date], 52 total muskies caught, 13 females used; egg take: 308,536 [7.2 quarts] pure-strain muskie eggs, 132,120 [2.8 quarts] hybrid muskie eggs [fertilized by 16 male northern pike])

 

Once fertilized at the Lake Rebecca site, eggs are transported to DNR hatcheries in St. Paul and Waterville for incubation and hatching.  This site is one of several in the MN DNR Fisheries' muskellunge propagation program.

 

While fishing Lake Rebecca is allowed and facilitated, we ask anglers to use methods that minimize stressing the valuable and vulnerable muskies, which typically number fewer than 120 and take five years or longer to mature.

 

If you have questions about the Lake Rebecca muskie spawn, contact our office. While there are no tours or guides, the public can observe the operation when in progress, keeping in mind 1) Park District rules and fees (note: electric trolling motors only) and 2) a small MN DNR Fisheries crew is doing detail-oriented, time-sensitive work in variable outdoor conditions, so opportunities for interaction are sometimes limited.