The muskellunge in Lake St. Clair

The population of muskellunge in Lake St. Clair has been exploited by intensive sport fishing for many years. Growth date from trap-netted muskellunge showed that females did no reach maturity until about 914 mm total length which is equal to Michigan’s size limit. Mean total lengths of females were greater than males after age V. Growth rates of Lake St. Clair muskellunge are very similar to those in the St. Lawrence River and the averages size in the Lake St. Clair sports catch has apparently not changed in 40 years. A mail survey of ardent muskellunge fishermen in 1972 showed that 74 anglers caught 1,273 fish in 1,017 days of fishing. An analysis of the Michigan-Ontario Muskies Club catch and of tag returns from the general sport fishery showed substantial north to south movements during June of about 40 km. Tag recoveries also indicated that there are separate stocks of muskellunge inhabiting the east and west areas of the lake.