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Muskie School Exam: your opinions requested

3/29/15 @ 1:47 PM
User since 7/30/11
For the 15th Annual Muskie School to be held next March 2016 we are considering a voluntary exam. The exam would have several questions relating to knowledge of muskie fishing. Those who pass the test would receive a certificate, patch or maybe a baseball cap. We may or may not decide to do this next year.

We are requesting that you, as avid muskie anglers, provide maybe 3 questions that should be on the potential exam. We realize that some questions may be subjective or debatable.

We have around 10 questions completed at this point.

Thanks for your input!

4/7/15 @ 12:42 PM
User since 7/30/11
Ulbian….Excellent comments. You are correct. We are looking for straight forward definitive question and answers. Nothing subjective. We will also put together a Tutorial with the information to study.

Thank you.

3/30/15 @ 9:27 PM
User since 9/24/03
Nick has some good thoughts but the way questions 2-5 are written is too subjective in nature. The answers to those are entirely dependent on the body of water those fish are in and since participants in this school will be coming from different backgrounds, fishing diverse bodies of water their answers could vary greatly and they would all be correct. A way to get around this is to be more specific in the wording and cite the literature where the desired answer resides. For example...on the preferred forage question you could begin the question by citing the stomach content study by Tom Burri..."according to a study conducted by Burri et. al., a muskie's diet primarily consists of...."

As a result, you might be better off keeping things a bit more straightforward and easily accessible. Spawning temp range is a bit less subjective. A question on naming a set number of genetic strains could work since that information has been covered ad nauseum the past decade. Physiological differences between pike and muskies, specifically the number of pores on the lower jaw, can be more direct., etc., etc..

As instructors writing a quiz/exam it's in your best interest to lock the accuracy of questions down as much as possible in order to avoid subjectivity. I've attended seminars where certain things are used to paint broad brush strokes....specifically the growth rate bit. The presenter held tight to the notion that growth rates are comparable at the same latitude regardless of the size and type of water...rivers, deep shield lakes, shallow panfish forage based lakes, age of the fishery, didn't matter, growth rates were the same. We simply know this isn't the case yet he kept driving it home. He went from someone I felt was really sharp on the subject to someone who lost a ton of credibility. You don't want to expose yourself to a loss of credibility by asking poorly written questions. On the other hand, those subjective questions could prove to be valuable when mining for opinions on management issues.

3/30/15 @ 8:19 PM
User since 7/30/11
Thanks Nick! Great feedback.

3/30/15 @ 5:07 PM
Nick Schumacher
Nick Schumacher
User since 1/10/05
I would make sure to include questions that revolve around growth, size, and reproduction in order to hammer home the importance of how precious the resource is.

Some examples:

(1) During what month do musky typically spawn? What water temperature range do they spawn in? (2) What kind of lake areas do musky spawn in? (3) In general, what is the top forage item for musky? The second forage item? (4) In general, what percentage of the musky diet is represented by these top two forage items? (5) On average, how many years does it take a musky to reach 30, 40, and 50 inches in length? (6) What are the benefits of increasing the minimum size limit for harvesting a legal musky? (7) Most musky anglers think that holding a musky vertically and/or laying a fish down on a carpeted boat surface are dangerous for the musky. Explain why.

There are countless questions you could ask. The ones above are the first ones that came to mind when I read your question.

Have a mixture of question formats, too. Have some short answer, some true/false, some fill-in-the-blank, some multiple choice, etc. Short answer are the best since they require the most knowledge. It also reveals why they're wrong since they have to write down the answer. That kind of information is just as valuable.

3/29/15 @ 1:59 PM
User since 7/30/11
Or maybe just provide one good question to consider?


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