The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently completed stocking efforts for the 2014 season. A total of 36,228 muskellunge fingerlings were stocked into 21 water bodies located throughout the state.
Michigan is home to two strains of naturally producing muskellunge, Great Lakes and northern. The DNR has been rearing muskellunge in its hatcheries since the 1950s.
Normally, DNR collects adult muskellunge in the Lake St. Clair/Detroit River system for eggs and milt (sperm) and then rears the young at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Mattawan.
While the hatchery program initially focused on the northern muskellunge strain, it has shifted focus in recent years to the Great Lakes strain as it is native to Michigan and widely distributed in water bodies throughout the Lower Peninsula and eastern region of the Upper Peninsula.
A historic milestone was passed this year as Great Lakes muskellunge were stocked in Little Bay de Noc of Lake Michigan. This is the first effort to restore this strain to its native waters.
In August, the agency stocked 6,300 surplus musky averaging 3 inches in length in the Grand River.
An additional 1,510 northern strain muskellunge were stocked in Chicagon Lake and Craig Lake. Those fish came from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of a cooperative agreement to trade Great Lakes strain muskellunge for northern strain muskellunge.
For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.
source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources