Culture of purebred muskellunge

The use of conventional pond-rearing techniques for culture of purebred muskellunge has provided erratic and unpredictable results but the fingerlings produced are large enough to provide maximum survival after stocking. The most dependable phases of muskellunge culture are spawning, incubation and pond rearing of fingerlings from 3 to 8 inches or larger. The phase of culture that needs the most improvement is from swimming fry to fingerlings of about 3 inches. The ability to control environmental conditions and provide adequate forage is essential to stabilized production.

Intensive culture techniques using pelleted feed have revolutionized the rearing of hybrid muskellunge and northern pike; it has not been nearly as successful with purebred muskellunge. Rearing in tanks using live food has been successful but growth is somewhat slow. For some production programs it appears feasible to rear fingerlings to 3 inches in tanks using live forage and then transfer them to ponds to grow to stocking size. Solutions to production problems vary and are dependent upon local conditions and facilities as well as the size of fingerling need for cost-effective stocking.