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Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2255
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I'm curious what the estimated survival rate is for musky fingerling stocking. I realize there are plenty of variables, but would a 10% survival rate be realistic?

Posted on: 12/2 16:09


Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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I'm not sure what the survival rate is in PA and I'm not sure that solid science even exists on this question as it pertains to Pennsylvania, esp in rivers. For one thing - "survival" needs to be defined: it takes about 3- 4 years to reach what the PFBC used to refer to as adult or catchable size (this would be 30"). Although the size limit is now 40".....my view is that a three yr age goal would be appropriate to use as a survival standard. Even this is a long time when compared to trout fingerlings or even walleyes. My guess would be that young muskies that reach the two yr mark, about 20" long, probably have a good chance (better than 50%) of exceeding 30" but this is a complete guess on my part.
There has been a tremendous amount of study and science applied to the issue of cultivating muskies in hatcheries but determining actual fingerling survival in the wild is very tough. Because we know so little about this, this is a good reason to support the PFBCs new muskellunge management plan which involves a good bit of focus on scientific study of stocking rates and survival. It's also widely believed that stocking "yearling" muskies (fish about a foot long or so) has produced much better survival and that that success may make the higher cost of raising these fish worthwhile (feeding young muskies in hatcheries is very expensive). Studies done in WI suggest that in lakes there is, on average, about one adult musky per two acres of water. I remember when they drained Opossum Lake in the early 1980s they recovered about 200 adult (30"+) fish from this 59 acre lake....(if I remember correctly)- a very dense population. I think the fingerling stocking standard back then was to stock two fingerlings per surface acre(?). These days, some lakes are getting much higher fingerling stocking rates...esp lakes stocked with tigers. Personally, I'd like to see more research done on stocking rates in rivers.

Anyway, this is a topic that really needs a lot of new scientific focus. If you're interested in this, I highly recommend you take some time to study the muskie plan on the PFBC website.

Posted on: 12/2 18:19


Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2255
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Thanks for the info Dave - very interesting!

Here's a link for anyone else that may be interested in reading the plan: http://www.fishandboat.com/pafish/musky/MuskyManagementPlan.pdf

Posted on: 12/2 20:56


Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?

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2012/11/11 19:34
From Lewisberry, PA
Posts: 159
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Off topic a bit but when I was at Cabelas on Friday, I was checking out the musky tank. They had a bunch of ~10" tiger musky swimming around. I saw one that had the tail end of another sticking out of its mouth. It always blows my mind as to what these fish will eat.

Posted on: 12/3 8:08
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Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2255
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That tank is neat. I believe that's a co-op nursery that assists the state with their stocking efforts. They are the apex predator, no doubt!

Posted on: 12/3 12:10


Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?

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2010/4/22 11:22
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My kids love that tank. Think you are correct on being co-op

Posted on: 12/3 12:17


Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?

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Posted on: 12/3 12:23


Re: Musky fingerling stocking - survival rate?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9283
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We had a recent thread on the topic of the muskies at Cabelas. If you missed it, here's the link if you'd like to learn more:


Link

Posted on: 12/3 13:28






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