|Interested citizens are invited to discuss the muskie stocking proposals on Thursday, Sept. 2, at locations across Minnesota. DNR staff will not make formal presentations but will answer questions and provide information.|
The proposed stockings are designed to provide additional opportunity for muskie anglers, especially opportunity in areas of the state where opportunity is limited. During the past decade muskie angling has become the fastest-growing segment of Minnesota's angling community. Currently, the DNR manages 116 muskie waters.
These lakes were selected based on their geographic distribution (providing opportunity from south to north), their physical size (muskie management lakes must be at least 500 acres), and various biological and chemical criteria, including the composition of the fish community. Each of these lakes has been proposed for muskie management because they are able to grow trophy-sized muskellunge (48-inches or larger) without any negative consequence to the overall health of existing game fish populations.
The DNR is nearing the goal of its long-range muskie and northern pike plan, which calls for up to eight new muskie waters by 2020. Last year, Itasca County's Lake Pokegama was stocked with muskie. The current proposal would add another five lakes. If all five proposals move forward, the DNR will have stocked six of the 'up to eight waters' as identified in the plan.
More Muskie Information
No. Existing fish populations will not be harmed because of the density rate at which Minnesota stocks muskie and the waters that have been selected for stocking. A third reason relates to the muskie's preference to prey upon non-game fish species, primarily redhorse, suckers and northern cisco. Muskie prefer these species because of their torpedo-shaped body and soft dorsal fins which make them easy to ingest. Walleye, bluegill, bass and crappie all have spiny dorsal fins and the latter three are more elliptical in shape.
Yes. The difference between those states and Minnesota relate to stocking density (how many fish are stocked per acre) and the size of the lake that gets stocked. The Minnesota DNR has long had very prescriptive criteria on what types of lakes are eligible for stocking and how many muskie are to be stocked. All five lakes proposed for stocking passed through this internal review process.
Effective today, you are welcome to share your thoughts with your local fisheries supervisor or fisheries staff in St. Paul via letters, e-mails or phone calls. Public input meetings will be held during the summer and fall of 2010. The DNR will continue to accept written comments through 2010.
Ultimately, agency staff will review all input and make its decision based on the quantity and quality of the input and other economic, social and natural resource considerations.
Provide your input to the process by completing the muskie stocking survey.