(English) Performance evaluation of four muskellunge strains in two Minnesota lakes

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Performance of four muskellunge strains (Mississippi, Shoepack, Court Oreilles and Miinocqua) were evaluated in two Minnesota lakes. Shoepack strain matured earlier and at a smaller size than the Mississippi strain. Although temporal spawning periods tended to overlap, Mississippi strain spawned at significantly higher water temperatures than the Shoepack strain. After six growing seasons the Mississippi strain was longer and heavier than the other strains. Weight-length relationships were significantly different with Shoepack and Wisconsin strains exhibiting a more robust body shape. Ultimate growth potential was greatest for the Mississippi and Court Oreilles strains and least for the Minocqua and Shoepack strains. Mortality rates were similar except for the Shoepack strain which had the highest mortality rate. The superior growth performance of the Mississippi strain suggests that it should be the strain of choice for muskellunge culture in Minnesota.