Muskellunge Management: Fifty Years of Cooperation Among Anglers, Scientists, and Fisheries Biologists

Development of a Cooperative Relationship to Compare Two Strains of Stocked Muskellunge in Lake Monona, Wisconsin [Abstract]

Winston John Hopkins

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874462.ch12

The Muskies, Inc. Capital City Chapter has developed a cooperative relationship with the Wisconsin Department of Resources (WDNR), which has allowed the club to fundraise, purchase, and stock Leech Lake-strain and Chippewa River-strain Muskellunge Esox masquinongy in Lake Monona, Wisconsin and to assist WDNR with data collection for a paired comparison of these two Muskellunge strains. The process of fundraising, purchasing, stocking, and collecting data for the WDNR study is outlined. Funding was generated primarily through monetary donations from club members and procurement of grants. Leech Lake Muskellunge were purchased from a private fish farm in Minnesota. Each year for the past 10 years, approximately 500 Leech Lake- and 500 Chippewa River-strain Muskellunge were marked with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and stocked in various shallow bays in Lake Monona, Wisconsin. Club members assisted with marking and stocking efforts. Recapture data were collected by both the WDNR, using fyke nets in the spring, and by club members, using PIT-tag scanners purchased by the club and checked out to local anglers. This effort has built a strong partnership between the club and WDNR. The biological results of this cooperative project were presented by WDNR (David Rowe and his coauthors) at this symposium.