Kerr, S. J. 2011. Distribution and management of muskellunge in North America: An overview. Fisheries Policy Section, Biodiversity Branch. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Peterborough, Ontario. 22 p. + appendices.
This report has been prepared to document current muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) distribution in North America as well as summarize and compare management approaches used in various jurisdictions.
This is not the first survey, regarding muskellunge management activities in North America, to be conducted. A similar agency questionnaire was carried out by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in 1985 (Ragan et al. 1986). The Esocid Technical Committee, Northcentral Division, American Fisheries Society, compiled information on esocid research and management in 1992 (ETC 1992), esocid angling regulations in 1995 (ETC 1997a), and esocid stocking in 1996 (ETC 1997b). I am also aware of a mail survey conducted in 1981 (Miller 1983) but was unable to obtain results from that undertaking.
Information contained in this report was derived from a number of sources including a survey of state/provincial staff (conducted during the fall of 2010), an internet search of muskellunge regulations in various jurisdictions, and a review of published literature. Completed surveys were received from 59 individuals (see Appendix 1) representing 56 different North American jurisdictions. In most instances, a single response was received from an individual jurisdiction. In other cases, several responses were received and combined to form a provincial or state response. Survey responses were not received from Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and South Carolina. Much of the outstanding information (e.g., number of muskellunge waters, numbers of fish stocked, etc.) for non-responding jurisdictions was obtained from agency websites.
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Distribution and Management of Muskellunge in North America: An Overview_2011