(English) Interview with MCI President Chris Nielsen on Blue Fish Radio

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Muskies Canada Sport Fish and Research came into being to introduce conservation measures into the sport of Muskie fishing. For over 40 years there now 700 members from the 13 different Canadian chapters have been supplying the Ministry of Natural Resources with catch-and-release logs to aid in Muskie research. This year the organization has funded three different research projects, including one on Lake St Clair in partnership with Shimano Canada.


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(English) Muskies 101

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The ability of future generations to enjoy species of fish like the muskellunge is based in part, on catch and release fishing today. The quality of the fishery depends on how carefully anglers release their fish. Over the years, a series of generally accepted handling procedures and suggestions have been developed by the catch and release community.

Match the Tackle to the Fish You’re After

  • Heavy Duty Rods, Reels, Line and Leaders
  • Why? – minimize fight time and ensure a good release.
  • Casting
    • 7 ‘to 9’(+) rods
    • Mostly bait caster style reels
    • 80lb braid
    • Wire or flourocarbon leaders – 100 lb and up
  • Trolling
    • 8’ (+) rods
    • Line Counter reels
    • 100 lb (+) braid
    • Flourocarbon leaders – minimum 100 lb


Crank Baits
Jerk and Glide Baits
Top Water



Release Tools

  • Good quality large coated net (Big Kahuna) , Knipex bolt cutters (to cut hooks), long needle nose pliers, Hook out tool, jaw spreaders, gloves, measuring pole, bump board or seamstress measuring tape for getting length and girth measurements, towel
  • Other tools, split ring pliers, channel lock pliers, vice grips, scissors, hook file
  • You can tie some type of a lanyard around tools in order not to loose them

Preparing for the Catch

  • Communicate with your “net man” i.e., I will bring fish to you, net head first, hold the mesh
  • Have your net, release tools ready i.e., long nose pliers, hook cutters, gloves
  • Discuss lifting and holding techniques , practice proper release and resuscitation techniques
  • Keep your landing area ready. Keep the floor of your boat clear of clutter and keep loose hooks and lures in a tackle box, not on the floor or seat. This will help to avoid many potential accidents as well as give you plenty of room to land that trophy fish!

The Catch

  • Net the muskie head first into a large coated net
  • Keep the muskie in the net until you get the hooks removed
  • Cut hooks if required and remove cut portions from muskie
  • If you’re taking a picture, get yourself and the boat organized to minimize the time the fish is out of the water.

Vertical Holds

  • Never lift a muskie vertically by its jaw. This has the potential of causing severe injury to the fish especially if it’s a big one.
  • When lifting a muskie for a photo or any other reason, always do so horizontally using your other hand to support it under its belly. Also, never ever hold any fish by its eye sockets. This definitely causes damage to the fish.

(English) Ducks Unlimited Launches New Invasive Species Resource

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Our partner  Ducks Unlimited Canada just released a great new resource for learning about invasive species that threaten many of our favourite musky waters. to learn more, make sure to check out the link!


Invasive species are changing the land and water we love. They overwhelm habitat, choking out natural wildlife and vegetation. They spread aggressively and hold their ground stubbornly. Winning the fight against an invasive species takes science, engineering and people committed to on-the-ground hard work.

(English) Shimano offers support to Muskellunge fishing on Lake St. Clair

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PETERBOROUGH, Ontario – Canada – For Immediate Release – 2-26-18 — It’s a good day for muskie anglers when natural resource managers from Ontario, Michigan and Ohio all come together to make the fishery better. Combine that with the involvement of volunteers from both Muskies Canada and Muskies, Inc., and now financial support from Shimano’s Canada operations, and targeting these big fish on Lake St. Clair has a positive outlook.

To assist with muskie research efforts on Lake St. Clair, Shimano donated $1,000 to help buy more acoustic radio tags. During ‘Muskie Sunday’ events at the just completed Spring Fishing & Boating Show in Mississauga, Ont., Bob Mahoney (center left) presents the check to Bruce Bauer (far left) with Muskies Canada – Belle River Chapter, Muskies Canada vice president Kurt Milligan (center right), and Jim Herod (far right), education director for Muskies Canada.

During ‘Muskie Sunday’ events at the just completed Spring Fishing & Boat Show, Canada’s largest outdoor show at The International Center in Mississauga, Ont., Shimano added to the day with a $1,000 donation to support the Lake St. Clair muskellunge tracking project. “We wanted to step up after seeing how the DNR fishery experts in both Michigan and Ohio, and our Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have teamed up on this project,” said Bob Mahoney with Shimano’s Canada operations. “And we applaud the joint efforts of the Muskies Canada and Muskies, Inc. organizations for their assistance”.
The donation will go to the purchase of additional acoustic radio tags that are implanted in caught-and-released muskies out of Lake St. Clair. The project provides the ability for donors to name a tagged muskie, and follow its travels at any time – similar to shark tagging programs. More than 50 muskies currently swim in Lake St. Clair, where their movements are tracked by using underwater receivers of the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System.

(English) Brewer Park Pond Restoration Project (2014 – 2016)

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The landlocked Brewer Park Pond and former artificial swimming hole have undergone a facelift, a transfusion and a rejuvenation to become a naturally-functioning habitat for all kinds of wildlife in Ottawa and importantly become, once again, a part of the Rideau River itself. Using an ecosystem approach, the partners in this project intend to increase overall biodiversity with the creation of a new, vibrant wetland and pond with shoreline plantings, breeding bird habitat, amphibian habitat, turtle nesting beds and basking logs all connected to the main channel of the nearby Rideau River. The pond will provide improved spawning, nursery, rearing and feeding habitat for the local fish community in the Rideau all year round. This area will be particularly important for Muskie spawning. The on-site work took place in November and December, 2014.

The project accomplishes two important goals for local residents:
– Rejuvenation of the pond with increased fish and wildlife habitat
– Maintenance of current park uses after construction, including complete walking trail around the pond.

We are pleased to confirm that both objectives will be achieved thanks to the goodwill and understanding of all the project partners including MINTO, Richcraft, the City of Ottawa, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Muskies Canada, the Institute of Environmental Science at Carleton University and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

Muskies Canada Ottawa Chapter has been a partner in this project throughout the long planning approvals process over most of the last 2 decades. Hedrik Wachelka has been tireless in his work to help move this project forward. The Ottawa Chapter, with assistance from the Hugh C. Becker Foundation has partnered with Carleton University to tag and monitor 40 Esocidae (20 Pike and 20 Muskies) to follow their movements before and after the completion of this new feature.

There will be an opportunity to volunteer for a shoreline planting day May 9, 2015 around the perimeter of the pond. Capital Ward Councilor David Chernushenko said, “Residents of Capital Ward work very hard to maintain and improve our local environment, and like to seize special opportunities such as this. Tree plantings, river shore protection, clean up initiatives and promoting active outdoor life styles by our residents are all close to our hearts and this project fits us well. Thanks to all parties for bringing this progressive project to Brewer Park!”

For more information: Jennifer Lamoureux, Aquatic & Fish Habitat Biologist Rideau Valley Conservation Authority 613-692-3571 ext. 1108 jennifer.lamoureux@rvca.ca

Création d’une échancrure le long de la rivière Jock (2014-2016)

En octobre 2014, la Rideau Valley Conservation Authority a construit une échancrure destinée à accroître la superficie de l’habitat du poisson dans la zone de conservation de Richmond, située à Ottawa (Ontario). Ce projet a été réalisé en partenariat avec Pêches et Océans Canada, Shell Fueling Change, Muskies Canada (chapitre d’Ottawa), le National Defence Fish and Game Club, la Fondation communautaire d’Ottawa, Fendock et l’Ottawa Flyfishers Society.

Le projet a consisté à convertir une zone de parc gazonnée en un petit milieu humide le long de la rivière Jock. L’entreprise Raab Construction Ltd. a participé à la création du milieu humide, et les travaux n’auraient pu être achevés sans l’aide d’un groupe de vaillants bénévoles.

Le projet s’est conclu par une journée de plantation d’arbres le 16 mai.

Pour informations :
Jennifer Lamoureux, biologiste (habitats aquatiques et de poissons)
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-3571, poste 1108
https://www.rvca.ca/jock-river-fish-habitat-embayment-creation-project (en anglais)

(English) Lake Simcoe Muskie Restoration Project Wins Top Conservation Award (2010)

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Canadien.

The Spring Fishing and Boat Show and its partners established a new award in 2010 for the top fishing conservation project of the year. The inaugural winner was Muskie Canada’s Lake Simcoe Muskie Restoration Project. This multi-year project is to reintroduce muskellunge into Lake Simcoe after an absence of about 30 years. The project is led by Dave Boxall, Project Manager, and Jim Kelly of Muskies Canada and Jason Borwick and Brad Allan of the Ontario MNR. It is supported by many partners, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Muskies Inc., Canadian Sportsman’s Shows, Bob Izumi’s Fishing Forever Foundation, Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers and the Spring Fishing and Boat Show.

(English) Project Noble Beast Muskie Catch and Release Study (2009 – 2011)

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Canadien.

In the early eighties, the one and only study on the impacts of catch and release angling on muskellunge, concluded there was up to a 30% mortality rate of angled fish, likely due to the stress of the experience. Thirty years and numerous changes in tackle, fish handling techniques and angler knowledge, there was a need to re-examine the mortality rate of muskies that were caught by anglers using modern tackle and techniques. In 2009, Masters of Science candidate, Sean Landsman, undertook a field study, fondly referred to as Project Noble Beast, to determine the sub-lethal and lethal effects of the catch-and-release process using two different handling procedures (normal and gentle). The project required intense angling effort, which was carried out over the summer and fall muskellunge angling seasons in 2009 and 2010, yielding 77 muskies up to 52 inches long. Under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Cooke of Carleton University and Dr. Cory Suski of the University of Illinois, Sean collected blood samples used to assess the physiological impact of the angling process and these samples were compared to those obtained from fish sampled via electrofishing (control group baseline levels). Behaviour and survival were assessed by attaching radio transmitters to a sub-sample of 30 fish (15 per handling procedure) and tracking their movements.

Hedrik Wachelka of the Ottawa Chapter of Muskies Canada worked tirelessly with Sean to organize, fundraise and assist in angling muskies from the Ottawa and Rideau River systems. Hedriks efforts and those of the nearly two dozen other volunteers from Muskies Canada were instrumental in the completion of the project. Blood sample analysis revealed minimal physiological disturbances between handling treatments. Behaviours were similar for fish from each handling group. Perhaps most importantly, all radio-tagged fish survived the catch-and-release event making this finding of 0 percent mortality dramatically different from the 30 percent figure previously suggested for muskellunge. True zero percent mortality can never exist in a hook-and-line fishery, but muskellunge fishing mortality may indeed be negligible.

Sean has published the results of this research in Fisheries Research an International journal on fisheries science, fishing technology, and fisheries management, and is available by permission, here. Seans paper was also presented at the World Recreational Fishing Conference in Berlin, Germany in the summer of 2011 to very positive reviews. This original research will save countless muskie and other fishes lives worldwide in the future.

Major funding for this research effort was generated by Muskies Canada, various chapters of MCI, Muskies Inc, the Becker Foundation as well as support from Carleton U and various government agencies.

Muskies Canada s’associe à Wounded Warriors Canada

Muskies Canada est fier d’annoncer un nouveau partenariat avec Wounded Warriors Canada pour organiser une fin de semaine de pêche au Scotsman Point Cottage Resort, sur le lac Buckhorn.

La pêche dans les Kawarthas permettra aux vétérans malades et blessés et à leurs familles de profiter du plein air tout en pêchant le maskinongé en compagnie de pêcheurs expérimentés de Muskies Canada. De plus, l’événement offrira un environnement relaxant qui permettra aux participants d’avoir du répit, de réfléchir et de se reconnecter avec leurs collègues vétérans et les membres de leur famille.

woundedWarriorsWounded Warriors Canada est un organisme de bienfaisance enregistré dont la mission est d’honorer et de soutenir les membres des Forces armées canadiennes, les vétérans, les premiers répondants et leurs familles malades et blessés au Canada.


cropped-muskies_canada_logo.pngMuskies Canada est un organisme national sans but lucratif voué à la pêche à la ligne, à la recherche et à la conservation du maskinongé. Le maskinongé, ou maskinongé, est le principal prédateur d’eau douce au Canada et un important poisson de sport dans l’est du Canada. Les pêcheurs de Muskies Canada ont des bateaux et de l’équipement bien adaptés pour accueillir Wounded Warriors pour une excellente fin de semaine sur l’eau.

“C’est avec une grande fierté que Muskies Canada a conclu un partenariat avec Wounded Warriors Canada pour passer du temps sur l’eau avec des anciens combattants qui ont tant donné à leur pays. Ce sera non seulement un honneur de passer du temps avec ces anciens combattants, mais de leur montrer que Muskies Canada reconnaît et est reconnaissant de leurs sacrifices”, a déclaré Tyler Duncan, représentant du conseil d’administration de Muskies Canada et président de la section Upper Valley.

Le weekend Wounded Warriors Canada Fishing in the Kawarthas weekend aura lieu à Scotsman Point Resort sur le lac Buckhorn, du 25 au 28 août 2017. Vendredi soir, un rassemblement de «Meet-and-Greet» et le samedi sera une journée de pêche au Muskie où les participants seront jumellés avec des membres de Muskies Canada.

Phil Ralph, directeur des programmes nationaux pour Wounded Warriors Canada, a commenté: “Nous continuons d’être les témoins directs des avantages des programmes récréatifs qui réunissent les vétérans et leurs familles. Nous sommes fiers de nous associer à Muskies Canada et à Scotsman Point Resort pour ce qui sera un grand événement annuel offrant à nos participants un répit important et l’occasion de réfléchir et de se reconnecter.”

Scotsman Point Cottage Resort est un commanditaire / supporter de l’événement et fait don d’un logement pour les participants de Wounded Warriors Canada. “À Scotsman Point Resort, nous sommes tous très fiers et honorés de pouvoir offrir aux citoyens canadiens les plus courageux une détente et un plaisir bien mérités. Nous sommes impatients de poursuivre notre relation avec tous les partenaires impliqués dans cet événement mémorable”, a déclaré Leslie Clarkson, directrice générale de Scotsman Point Resort.

Pour plus d’informations, consultez:

Wounded Warriors

Muskies Canada

Scotsman Point Resort