Fingerlings muskellunge production in an intensive-extensive culture system in New York State.

Declining stocks of adult muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) in Chautauqua Lake prompted changes in the production procedures employed at the Chautauqua State Fish Hatchery, Mayville, New York. The system now in use involves intensive trough rearing of muskellunge for approximately 1–1.5 months, followed by extensive pond rearing for up to 2 months. There was no significant difference in growth rate between muskellunge reared intensively on minnows and those reared on formulated diets; mean growth rates were 0.054 and 0.048 in/d, respectively. There was no significant difference in growth rate of muskellunge reared extensively whether they previously had been fed formulated diet or minnows in troughs; average growth rates were 0.086 and 0.084 in/d. Food conversion (food weight fed/fish weight gained) and percent survival of fingerlings transferred to ponds were significantly lower among fish previously fed formulated feeds (3.02 and 68.4%) than among fish previously fed minnows (3.74 and 81.2%).