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Thread: Wisconsin's DNR announces it won't be taking musky eggs, milt

  1. #1
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1994
    Minocqua, WI, United States.

    Wisconsin's DNR announces it won't be taking musky eggs, milt

    Wisconsin is joining a number of other states which will not be raising little muskies this year due to the COVID situation. This from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

    The DNR Won't Collect Musky Or Sturgeon Eggs This Spring, Leaving A 1-Year Gap In The Stocking Program

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns for employee safety, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will not collect lake sturgeon or muskellunge eggs this spring.

    The moves mean the state hatchery system will not produce 2020 year classes of the popular species and consequently none will be available for stocking this year.

    In addition, sucker eggs also will not be collected. The fish are reared and used as forage for game fish in the hatcheries.

    The decisions to suspend the sturgeon and musky operations were made after consultations among the fisheries staff, said Todd Kalish, DNR deputy fisheries director.

    Lake sturgeon egg collections require close contact between DNR staff, other agency staff and volunteers, Kalish said.

    Health guidelines, including those under the state's safer-at-home order, recommend keeping at least 6 feet of space between people in work and social environments.

    In addition, many of the spawning areas where the DNR conducts sturgeon activities are currently closed due to the pandemic, according to Kalish.

    Musky egg takes are unique in that they require significant staff effort and travel to collect eggs for musky and suckers for forage.

    In addition, musky egg take requires close contact among staff since two people are typically required to hold and handle the fish.

    The agency made an exception this year for walleye egg take, which proceeded with adjustments to work schedules and practices to comply with current health and safety guidelines, Kalish said.

    The DNR takes walleye eggs from the Menominee River, Red Cedar Lake and Big Arbor Vitae Lake in order to meet its statewide stocking needs.

    As of April 30, the DNR had finished egg collections from the Menominee River and Red Cedar Lake. The agency met its egg goals at each site.

    It was still working at Big Arbor Vitae Lake and hope to complete walleye egg take the last week of April or first week of May.

    The Wisconsin hatchery system was deemed "essential" under state business guidelines and has maintained operations throughout wider shut-downs.

    Hatchery staff completed the planned stocking of trout and salmon in Lake Michigan as well as inland trout.

    It also completed collection of steelhead eggs at facilities on the Kewaunee and Root rivers.
    Steve Heiting

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Athens, Ohio, US.
    Here's Ohia's approach:

    April 20, 2020

    Ohio Muskie Anglers,

    The Ohio Division of Wildlife has taken a different approach to meeting our annual stocking needs for muskellunge during 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal of stocking 19,890 advanced fingerlings in nine reservoirs has not changed, but the way we need to go about it has.
    This is obviously not a typical year and we have had to adjust in many ways. In a typical year, Division of Wildlife crews net adult muskellunge from Leesville Lake during early to mid-April to take and fertilize eggs for part of our muskellunge production. Then, additional fertilized eggs are obtained the Minor Clark State Fish Hatchery, operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), to augment our needs. Unfortunately, we could not collect eggs from Leesville Lake this year because the time period required to do so overlapped with the peak of COVID-19 ramping up, and, KDFWR did not take any muskellunge eggs this year for the same reason. Similar situations have occurred in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
    Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission believes that they may be able to provide our fish hatcheries with 55,000 2-3 inch fingerling muskellunge this June. These fish would be grown out in our hatcheries to advanced fingerlings to meet our annual stocking goal this fall. We are very appreciative of this generous offer and are hopeful that this approach works out. Fish production happens one step at a time and we will keep you posted as efforts progress.
    Thank you for your understating and continued support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.


    Scott Hale
    Executive Administrator, Fish Management & Research
    ODNR Division of Wildlife

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I wonder if Preston Cole ever went musky fishing ??? ------ jim

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