Ontario’s 2010 Volunteer Muskellunge Angler Diary Program

In 2010, volunteer muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) angler diary program information was collected by anglers participating in a Lake Erie Management Unit (MNR) sponsored program as well as volunteer anglers affiliated with Muskies Canada Inc. (MCI). The 2010 program represented the 32nd consecutive year that MCI members have collected and provided information on their muskellunge angling activities. A total of 187 MCI anglers participated in the 2010 program.

Anglers reported expending a total of 17,999 rod hours of effort directed at muskellunge in 2010. The most heavily fished waters were the Ottawa River (2,550 hours), St. Lawrence River (2,263 hours), Lake St. Clair (2,134 hours), Lake Nipissing (1,029 hours), and Lake of the Woods (1,025 hours). A total of 946 muskellunge were landed in 2010. Based on the reported angling effort, the overall catch-per-unit-of-effort (CUE) was 0.053 fish/rod hour. All but two angled muskellunge were released alive. Records were submitted from a total of 65 different Ontario waterbodies. This is the largest number of waterbodies since the program began in 1979.

Angled muskellunge ranged in size from 15-56 inches in total length. The mean length of angled muskellunge in 2010 was 36.0 inches. Based on volunteer angler logs maintained by members of Muskies Inc. (MI) (Bunch 2011) and Muskies Canada Inc. (MCI), there were 159 muskellunge exceeding 50 inches in length which were angled from 24 Ontario waters in 2010 (Table 2). Based on this information, the largest muskellunge reported during the 2010 angling season was a 57.0 inch fish taken from the Ottawa River.