The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stocked muskellunge fingerlings in waters across the state in November to increase fishing opportunities.
The DNR says it stocked 27,449 fingerlings in 17 bodies of water.
“We’re making great headway in our efforts to increase muskellunge fishing opportunities for anglers,” says DNR fisheries biologist Matt Hughes, who oversees the rearing program at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery.
“With time and experience, we’ve stabilized and increased production so more and more water bodies can be stocked.”
According to the DNR, it has collected eggs and milt from muskellunge in the Lake St. Clair-Detroit River system since 2011. The Wolf Lake State Hatchery in Mattawan is used to rear the offspring.
Below is a chart of where the nine-inch fingerlings were stocked in November.
Two strains of natural muskellunge are found in Michigan waters: Great Lakes and northern. According to the DNR, early stocking efforts in the 1950s focused on the northern variety. Today, the DNR focuses more on stocking the Great Lakes strain.
Muskellunge have high survival rates during rearing stages, so in July, almost 80,000 inch-long fish were stocked in Lake Macatawa in Ottawa County and Mona Lake in Muskegon County, the DNR says.