Muskellunge of the Ottawa River

Kerr, S. J. 2010. Muskellunge of the Ottawa River. Biodiversity Branch. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Peterborough, Ontario. 21 p. + appendices

Ecology of Ottawa River Muskellunge
Muskellunge Habitat
Generally, the habitat preferences of muskellunge may be described as heavily
vegetated lakes; stumpy, weedy bays; and slow-flowing river systems (see Appendix 1). They have the ability to withstand water temperatures as high as 32º C as well as low dissolved oxygen levels. Larger muskellunge may also be found in deeper, less vegetated waters.
There is considerable evidence to demonstrate reproductive homing in muskellunge (Crossman 1990, LaPan et al. 1996). Muskellunge spawning habitat generally occurs in shallow (38 – 51 cm deep), vegetated flooded areas at water temperatures between 10-15ºC (Scott and Crossman 1973, Cook and Solomon 1987, Zorn et al. 1998). Construction of the Carillon dam in 1964 flooded large areas of low lying land mostly on the Québec side of the lower Ottawa River. This resulted in the creation of spawning and nursery habitat for a number of fish species including muskellunge.

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OMNR_Muskellunge of the Ottawa River_2010

Mike Mitchell