Muskellunge in Tennessee streams

Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) are known to inhabit 169 miles of rocky and fast‐flowing streams on the Cumberland Plateau in East‐Central Tennessee. These waters are usually clear (turbidity less than 5 p.p.m.) and slightly acid. Muskellunge in Tennessee streams grow an average of 5.8 inches per year but few fish live beyond 6 years of age. Male fish mature when about 22 inches long and 3 years old; females mature when about 25 inches long and 3 or 4 years old. Muskellunge spawn in April when water temperatures are near 50° F. Young fish are found in only 15 percent of the total habitat distance. Management of the muskellunge streams in Tennessee appears to be necessary to maintain the presently small muskellunge fishery.