A comparison of muskellunge and hybrid muskellunge in a southern Wisconsin lake

A comparison of age and growth, return to the creel and harvest size characteristics was made for muskellunge and hybrid muskellunge in Little Green Lake, Wisconsin. Most hybrids reached 30 inches by their fourth summer while most muskies attained that length by their fifth summer. Since 1963, in a voluntary musky registration program, an average of 108 muskellunge and 125 hybrid muskellunge have been recorded annually. Anglers have registered 11.6% of the musky stocked and 14.6% of the hybrid musky stocked; their average size was 33.1 and 31.6 inches respectively. Total harvest was 2.03 lb/acre for musky and 1.98 lb/acre for hybrids. Exploitation rates were 26.6% for musky and 33.3% for hybrid musky. Live bait was used to catch 55.1% of the hybrids while artificial baits accounted for 87.0% of the musky caught. Since 1972, 147 muskellunge and 128 hybrids have been caught and released. Due to the hybrid’s greater vulnerability to angling muskellunge may be the better choice for stocking intensively fished waters.