Musky Production in Michigan

Topics concerning muskellunge and fisheries research, diseases, stocking and management.

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vano397
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Postby vano397 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:02 pm

Hamilton Reef wrote:Vano397, The state managers have to make the tough judgement calls based on the resources and factors they are dealt with. That is why they get paid and we get to play Monday morning quarterback. Seriously our DNR friends are going through a hard time right now, so I'll trust their judgement.

I fully trust their judgement. Just curious if they are ready to plant gls in waters connecting to lake michigan, and if not, what do they still need and how can I/we help. Also wanted to confirm they will still stock these new gls in currently stocked lakes with northern strains, which they apparently are.
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Jim tenHaaf
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Postby Jim tenHaaf » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:53 pm

vano397 wrote:So I'm assuming that they aren't concerned with the two strains intermingling. And do they have enough info to say the stclair fish are similar enough to the elk and black chains' to let them intermingle???


Your answer can be found under the "Projects" topics. That is what we are applying for grants for. To do genetic testing to see if they are silimar.

Will Schultz wrote:I just wrapped up a grant applicatoin today that would allow us to get genetic testing started. The overall number of samples needed to do this right makes this a very expensive undertaking ($100,000+/-) and by far the largest (and perhaps most significant) project MMA has ever been associated with.

Here's a little snipet from the application that will hopefully get the first $10,000 toward this project:

This project will enable genetic resource evaluation of Great Lakes and natural muskellunge stocks in the state of Michigan. By examining genetic structure on a geographic scale that encompasses the majority of muskellunge populations remaining in the Great Lakes basin, we will gain a better understanding about the delineation of genetic management units throughout the Great Lakes. Project goals include:
- evaluation of natural breeding populations
- development of guidelines for broodstock selection
- development of guidelines to conserve genetic diversity
Michigan has recently developed a Muskellunge management plan that outlines strategies and objectives for quality muskellunge fishing opportunities. One of the strategies is to conserve genetic diversity of muskellunge to manage popular sport fisheries where these unique populations occur. Currently Michigan recognizes 112 inland and Great Lakes muskellunge waters across the state. Seventy-seven of these waters are sustained through natural reproduction. The project will concentrate on the native populations currently sustained by natural reproduction while also evaluating the naturalized (introduced supplementary stocked and reproducing) populations in comparison with waters maintained entirely by stocking.

Last edited by Jim tenHaaf on Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jim tenHaaf
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Postby Jim tenHaaf » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:14 pm

hemichemi wrote: Most LP lakes don't have ANY muskie-friendly spawning habitat.



Didn't John say the preferred habitat for GLS spawning was Chara? (I forget the other name he called it). I know TONS of lakes that I fish that are abundant with Chara. On the flip side, the Northern Strain needs more wood, like fallen timber. Which is kind of weird that there's no evidence of them spawning in the Thornapple River or Lake. There's plenty of fallen timber there.

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Will Schultz
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Postby Will Schultz » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:30 pm

Jim tenHaaf wrote:
hemichemi wrote: Most LP lakes don't have ANY muskie-friendly spawning habitat.



Didn't John say the preferred habitat for GLS spawning was Chara? (I forget the other name he called it). I know TONS of lakes that I fish that are abundant with Chara. On the flip side, the Northern Strain needs more wood, like fallen timber. Which is kind of weird that there's no evidence of them spawning in the Thornapple River or Lake. There's plenty of fallen timber there.


Woody debris and fallen timber are two very different things, think small wood particles. Clean sand and gravel may be just as important in the opinion of some biologists. The key being something to keep the eggs up out of the silt and in Thornapple there's lots of silt.
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Scott Williams
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Postby Scott Williams » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:28 pm

Austin has tons of Chara! Would be interested to see if the GLS would be able to reproduce in there, wishful thinking on my part!

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vano397
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Postby vano397 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:46 pm

Thanks Jim, I remember that post and was apparently doing a poor job at hinting for an update and any news on it. And john was referring to the chara as stonewart, also in combination with coontail, and last I knew those areas were very clear and sandy ( in close proximity).
I also wonder if musky are like salmon and spawn in the same area they were born ( if you buy into that of course). And therefore the musky that survive are the ones that spawn in undeveloped areas...
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Steve S
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Postby Steve S » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:59 pm

I know up on the Chippewa Flowage in WI., the lake association there bought up alot of the shore land and islands to make sure the spawning grounds are safe. Has anyone here been able to do this here? Like up on the Antrim Chain and other lakes. to me Hudson would be a great spot because it's surrounded by state land. I think it's biggest problem is when the muskies finish spawning, here come a ton of carp to ruin all the muskie spawning. It would be nice if they could remove 1/2 to 3/4 of the carp so the muskies could stay on top of them. My 2 cents!!

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vano397
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Postby vano397 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:34 pm

The grand traverse conservation club has purchased a lot.. mostly between sixmile and stclair. Seems like it fits the description but might have too much current??? Also the lakes and townships are doing well at not allowing some larger plots get split and developed.
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Hamilton Reef
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Postby Hamilton Reef » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:33 pm

Steve S wrote:I know up on the Chippewa Flowage in WI., the lake association there bought up alot of the shore land and islands to make sure the spawning grounds are safe. Has anyone here been able to do this here?
Steve, There are several organizations working to preserve and restore lakeshore fishery habitats around the state. Check in with your local county conservation districts or something like the Traverse City the Conservation Resource Alliance. For me, I work with Muskegon Conservation District and we are working this year with 7 projects around White Lake ($2.16M) and will be submitting another grant due in a month to improve more fishery habitats including using conservation easements or shoreline purchases to preserve the fishery habitats from developers. We are also working with major DU grant proposals to save major areas of habitat and I have several projects going in the White River with more grant proposals due in April. We have worked several years with the White Lake Association to limit phosphorus entering White Lake and are working with riparian owners to create buffer strips along the shoreline as well as removing exotic plants. I can't begin to list all we do, but you get the idea. When I mentioned the possibility of future native GLS at our last local meeting, our group got so excited like the work of two decades was paying off. We also have $13M in projects going on around Muskegon Lake.
The main point here is MMA has been doing their job for several years to get the GLS program going, and our lake communities have been working several years getting lakes ready to provide a home for the GLS.

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Steve S
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Postby Steve S » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:07 pm

WOW!! Hamilton, you guy's are pretty impressive!! [smilie=2thumbsup.gif]

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Postby Hamilton Reef » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:20 am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2011
Contacts: Gary Whelan 517-373-6948 or Mary Dettloff 335-3014

DNR to Raise Great Lakes Muskies Rather Than Northern Muskies in 2011

The Department of Natural Resources plans to raise Great Lakes (spotted) muskellunge at its Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery this year, a change of direction from the northern muskies the department has raised in the past.

“This is a key turning point in our muskellunge production program,” said DNR Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan. “This strain of muskellunge is native to most of Michigan; the northern muskellunge is native to only a small portion of the far western Upper Peninsula in the Wisconsin River drainage.

“The spotted muskellunge will be more at home in more waters than northern muskies.”

The DNR has been studying the idea of raising spotted muskies for more than a decade, but did not want to bring the Great Lake strain into the hatchery system while raising northern muskies because of potential disease concerns. DNR Fisheries Division personnel plan to take 1.5 million eggs from spotted muskies in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River this spring with a goal of producing 40,000 10- to 12-inch fall fingerlings.

In order to minimize the risk of spreading disease, the DNR will not take eggs from northern muskellunge this year, but will evaluate the need to produce northern strain muskies in the future. Ideally, the department will address the disease concerns and be able to raise both strains in the future, Whelan said.

To learn more about fishing in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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Postby Pete » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:07 am

Wow! Cool!
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Postby swanezy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:34 pm

sweet

Hamilton Reef
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Postby Hamilton Reef » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:16 pm

I've been at the GL Fishery Committee meetings all this week. The DNR fishery gang is excited to fianally get the GLS program in gear.

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Steve S
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Postby Steve S » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:54 pm

Hamilton, so are you going to give us some tidbits of what was said!