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muskie conservation

3/6/15 @ 9:55 AM
OO Buckshot
User since 10/4/05
I have included a letter to petition our government or DNR to enact regulation to better conserve our musky fishing resource please let me know your thoughts. I would like for the muskie community to get behind some sound regulation to limit the harvest and ensure better musky fishing for us all.


I am writing this letter today to inform you of an issue that is concerning to me as well as thousands of other fisherman in this state. Our management strategies to conserve our state fish the muskellunge are now lagging behind our neighbors of Minnesota and Michigan which in return will affect tourism dollars of those who pursue the king of freshwater fish. Due to the biology of the musky it is a very low density fish even in the most productive waters a population may be only a few hundred adult fish. It typically takes a musky 10 years to reach the 40” mark which is then legal size to keep if an angler wishes on many of our lakes. Muskies play a vital role in controlling stunted panfish as well as balancing predator and prey species. Over the years science has helped us understand a great deal more of the life cycle of the musky and many groups have promoted the idea of catch and release to ensure a sustainable population in our waterways. Limiting the harvest on such a low density fish to protect the mature spawning fish is the only way to ensure a quality musky fishery for future generations. Minnesota and Michigan have come to understand the vital role an apex predator such as the musky provide to a fishery as well as the sport fishing opportunities they give to residents and nonresidents of their states. For the 2015 fishing season Minnesota has instituted a 54” size limit on all inland waters. This size limit is a great step forward for them to protect a sensitive fish and provide anglers with a chance at trophy size fish while protecting from over harvest so the next generation can enjoy the thrill of catching one. With a 54” size limit the Possibility of Minnesota to produce a record fish and become a premier musky tourist destination is significantly increased. Michigan on the other hand has a new regulation of tagging harvested fish. Each angler who buys a musky tag has the option to harvest one fish per year with their tag. This allows an angler who wishes to keep that one fish of a lifetime can do so legally. It also provides documentation so the DNR can assess length, time of year and which body of water the fish was harvested from. This data can help the DNR to better manage a fishery by knowing how many adult fish are taken out a system on a yearly basis thus better estimating population and adopting management tools ensure a healthy fishery. I feel Wisconsin could benefit from adopting some of these ideas other states are doing to protect our valuable musky resource. A state wide 50” size limit is an easy and effective way to protect the smaller class of fish and ensure that every musky lake has a chance to sustain a healthy population and the possibility to produce a trophy fish. I also support a musky tag/stamp regulation the purchase of which ( let’s say $3 ) would limit an angler to only 1 fish per year during the open season as well as generating funds which would be set aside for musky stocking and habitat management. This would also provide valuable information to the DNR on lakes where muskies are harvested. One aspect of the musky harvest that is also concerning to me is the Native American harvest specifically winter spearing of muskies. Currently there are no quotas per lake, records of winter harvest per lake and these harvest numbers have no effect on how many muskies the Native Americans will declare or harvest come spring. We need to work together with Native Americans on this issues and institute yearly quotas of musky harvest for each lake the tribes intend to spear as well as have the documentation of harvest numbers of both tribal and nontribal harvest to better manage our water for the benefit of all people. Let’s work together to improve the quality of the musky experience Wisconsin has to offer.

Best Regards,

3/6/15 @ 11:21 AM
OO Buckshot
User since 10/4/05
if your on facebook I started a page

3/6/15 @ 10:13 AM
User since 6/19/01
Kudos! I'm in. Big Smile

How about an on-line petition with that explanation. I'd sign it.

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