This morning (August 4th), at 9:06AM, Hedrik Wachelka and I released a 52" muskie on the Ottawa River to make it the 15th fish with a transmitter and 19th overall.
We currently have seen no mortality in any of our fish, including those held out-of-water for 90 seconds to simulate picture taking and measurements. One interesting observation or pattern we have been seeing is the behaviour of muskies immediately post-release. Though a fish may appear to swim away strong and quickly, they retreat to cover and take refuge for at least two hours following a catch-and-release event. One fish that was caught-and-released in deeper water moved around more during the two hour track post-release. It has since buried itself in thick vegetation (slop), so it is possible that the movements we saw post-release were the fish's efforts to find suitable cover to take refuge in and recuperate from the strange out-of-body experience it went through!
We also have had one recaptured muskie (48") on the Ottawa River by MCI member Ross Nicholls. The fish was caught July 8th and recaptured on July 30th. Should you find yourself fishing the lower Ottawa River and the Eccolands and Long Reach of the Rideau River, please be aware that we have several fish tagged in each of these areas. Each fish has a Floy tag with a phone number (use my email address to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org) and a 4-digit ID number that begins with a "1" (so far all fish have numbers beginning with "12XX"). They also have more noticeable transmitters with long (~6"), black antennas and two sets of 6-digit numbers. Should you catch a fish being used in this study, please report either of the two numbers on the transmitter or the Floy tag number. Though we can use a photograph to compare markings (assuming the fish is held the same way by both anglers), tag numbers do not lie and are an exact method of identifying a fish.
I would like to thank, and will continue to thank, MCI and its members. We have had an overwhelming amount of support from people looking to volunteer! I have had the opportunity to spend time with a variety of people and am cherishing every minute. Without your support, this project would not be happening!