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Aggressor,

Link one survey that shows crappie are a musky's primary forage. Just one. I would be willing to bet I have done a little more musky research than you. And do you have a link to the studies Mike Kelley and Harold Long did? I would love to read their research thesis as to how they came to their conclusions.

KVD

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Aggressor,

Link one survey that shows crappie are a musky's primary forage. Just one. I would be willing to bet I have done a little more musky research than you. And do you have a link to the studies Mike Kelley and Harold Long did? I would love to read their research thesis as to how they came to their conclusions.

KVD

Well put

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this is evidence from MN, and Wisconsin

What do muskies eat anyway?
MN DNR Fisheries Report

spacer.gif Muskie were successfully established in Lake Vermilion through a stocking program that began in 1984. The muskie population has done well and the lake is quickly gaining a reputation as a quality muskie fishery. A number of people have expressed concern that the muskie introduction may have a negative impact on other fish species, particularly walleye. They are concerned that muskies will eat substantial numbers of walleye and reduce the walleye population. It certainly is wise to be cautious about introducing a new species into a lake, as such introductions are sometimes detrimental to the native fish community. The introduction of muskie into Lake Vermilion was done only after meeting stringent criteria for new muskie introductions and a thorough review of the possible consequences. Based on all the information available, it was decided that introducing muskies would provide a new trophy type of fishery while having a minimal impact on other species. Since the introduction of muskie, there has been no major change in the walleye population or in the populations of other species. The 1997 assessment net catch of walleye was one of the highest on record for Lake Vermilion.
spacer.gif The decision to introduce muskie into Lake Vermilion was based in part on the abundance of tullibee and white sucker in the lake, species that are known to be preferred prey items for muskie. Research has shown that muskie prefer prey without sharp spines, such as tullibee and sucker. Perch have also been shown to be an important prey item, probably because they are small enough that their spines are not a factor and because they are found in stands of aquatic vegetation that muskie also inhabit. Walleye have not been known to be a major forage species for muskie, even in lakes with abundant walleye populations. Although muskie will certainly eat walleye occasionally, the numbers eaten are minor compared to other natural mortality and angler harvest.
spacer.gif A research project was recently conducted in Wisconsin that looked at the feed habits of muskie. Stomach contents were examined from 1,092 muskie captured in 34 Wisconsin lakes from July 1991 to October 1994. The muskie were captured throughout the open water season by trapnetting, electrofishing and angling. The muskie stomachs were flushed with water to disgorge the contents without injuring the fish. The captured muskie ranged in size from nine inches to 46 inches. Based on the number and size of consumed food items, yellow perch and white sucker were, by far, the most important fish species consumed by muskies. Only five walleye were found in the 1,092 muskie stomachs examined. Sunfish, crappie and various minnow species were eaten more frequently than walleye in the study lakes. Tullibee were not common in many of the study lakes and therefore were relatively unimportant as food items. However, previous research has shown that tullibee are important food items for muskie in lakes where they are abundant, such as Lake Vermilion. One interesting aspect of the study was that researchers found that muskies would feed on crayfish in lakes with a high population of rusty crayfish. Since the eastern portion of Lake Vermilion has a high population of rusty crayfish, it is likely that muskie there will also feed on crayfish, although probably not enough to decrease the rusty crayfish population.
spacer.gif It is important to understand that muskie and walleye have co-existed in many lakes across the northern United States and southern Canada for centuries. In fact many of the premier muskie lakes in the region are also excellent walleye lakes. This would not be possible if muskie decimated walleye populations as is sometimes suggested. The most important strategies for maintaining walleye populations are to protect habitat, preserve water quality and prevent over-harvest. If anyone has questions about muskie or other fish species in Lake Vermilion please feel free to call me at our Ely office.

Duane Williams,
Large Lake Specialist for Lake Vermilion Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Section of Fisheries
Phone Number: 218-365-7280

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Aggressor this is more info, from MIN
Studies reveal what muskies eat, impacts other fish populations

(Released August 26, 2010)

Anglers and lakeshore owners often wonder what muskellunge eat and how this top predator affects other fish populations once it has been introduced into a new body of water.

Answers to those questions can be found in studies conducted by the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of natural resources.

“Today, we know more about the muskie’s diet and its impact on other fish populations than ever before,” said Tim Goeman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regional fisheries manager. “And that knowledge indicates muskies do not have a detrimental effect on other fish species when stocked at relatively low levels in water bodies with the right characteristics.”

The Minnesota DNR conducted an in-depth examination of fish population impacts in 2007. That’s when Mike Knapp, a DNR fisheries biologist, and other fisheries staff did an extensive analysis of fish populations in 41 lakes that had been stocked with the Leech Lake strain of muskellunge. Knapp, who co-authored a report on this work, said the analysis across all 41 lakes and smaller groups of similar lakes did not show a significant decrease in any fish species after muskellunge had been stocked.

“If muskie stocking resulted in a negative impact on other fish populations, we would have seen a pattern emerge,” said Knapp. “But that didn’t happen. Instead, we found great variability. When looking at individual species in individual lakes, our nets caught significantly more fish in 16 cases and significantly fewer fish in nine cases. Our nets caught essentially the same number of fish in the other 194 cases. The lack of consistent negative changes suggests muskie and other species generally coexist quite well.”

In Minnesota, muskellunge typically prey on whitefish, tullibee, suckers, redhorse and yellow perch. Knapp said study findings related to these prey items were:

No significant population changes (increases or decreases) were detected for tullibee, white sucker, or yellow perch across the 41 lakes.

Lakes that did not contain tullibee (a preferred prey species) did not have negative fish population impacts after muskellunge had been stocked.

Knapp said the study findings are in line with a Wisconsin DNR study conducted from 1991 to 1994. That study examined the stomach contents of 1,092 muskellunge from about nine to 46 inches in length. Wisconsin researchers found 31 different species of fish in the stomachs of muskellunge, primarily perch and white sucker.

Tom Burri, a Minnesota DNR biologist who worked on this study while previously employed in Wisconsin, said the diet study was enlightening.

“We found only five walleye in the stomachs of 1,092 muskellunge,” said Burri. “Muskie actually ate more muskie than walleye. We found six muskies inside of muskies.”

Burri said the Wisconsin diet study indicated that 98 percent of a muskie’s diet, by volume, was comprised of fish. The other two percent, he said, included crayfish, insects, mudpuppies, tadpoles and one mouse. Walleye, bass and northern pike ranked low in the muskie diet.Burri said despite strong walleye populations in some of the Wisconsin study lakes, walleye were not an important food for muskellunge.

“When we used electro-fishing boats to sample fish populations at night, we often found walleye and muskie in close proximity yet the muskellunge stomachs rarely contained walleye,” said Burri.

He said this information suggests that walleyes are either not a preferred species by muskellunge or walleyes are adept at avoiding predation. The latter may be related to the walleye’s eye, which is designed for excellent night vision.

“When walleye and muskie are in shallow water at night the walleye’s night vision might help them avoid predation,” Burri said.

Goeman said study findings are particularly relevant right now because the Minnesota DNR is considering introducing muskie into five new water bodies starting in 2011. Lakes under consideration for muskie stocking include Roosevelt in Crow Wing and Cass counties, Upper South Long and Lower South Long in Crow Wing County, Tetonka in Le Sueur County, and the Sauk River chain in Stearns County.

“The proposals reflect a growing interest in muskie fishing, as well as confidence that introducing muskie into these waters will not have detrimental effect on other fish populations,” Goeman said.

The DNR will hold six public input meetings around the state on Thursday, Sept. 2, for people to comment on the stocking proposals. Meeting times, locations and other information is available at mndnr.gov/muskie.

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this is evidence from MN, and Wisconsin

What do muskies eat anyway?

MN DNR Fisheries Report

spacer.gif Muskie were successfully established in Lake Vermilion through a stocking program that began in 1984. The muskie population has done well and the lake is quickly gaining a reputation as a quality muskie fishery. A number of people have expressed concern that the muskie introduction may have a negative impact on other fish species, particularly walleye. They are concerned that muskies will eat substantial numbers of walleye and reduce the walleye population. It certainly is wise to be cautious about introducing a new species into a lake, as such introductions are sometimes detrimental to the native fish community. The introduction of muskie into Lake Vermilion was done only after meeting stringent criteria for new muskie introductions and a thorough review of the possible consequences. Based on all the information available, it was decided that introducing muskies would provide a new trophy type of fishery while having a minimal impact on other species. Since the introduction of muskie, there has been no major change in the walleye population or in the populations of other species. The 1997 assessment net catch of walleye was one of the highest on record for Lake Vermilion.

spacer.gif The decision to introduce muskie into Lake Vermilion was based in part on the abundance of tullibee and white sucker in the lake, species that are known to be preferred prey items for muskie. Research has shown that muskie prefer prey without sharp spines, such as tullibee and sucker. Perch have also been shown to be an important prey item, probably because they are small enough that their spines are not a factor and because they are found in stands of aquatic vegetation that muskie also inhabit. Walleye have not been known to be a major forage species for muskie, even in lakes with abundant walleye populations. Although muskie will certainly eat walleye occasionally, the numbers eaten are minor compared to other natural mortality and angler harvest.

spacer.gif A research project was recently conducted in Wisconsin that looked at the feed habits of muskie. Stomach contents were examined from 1,092 muskie captured in 34 Wisconsin lakes from July 1991 to October 1994. The muskie were captured throughout the open water season by trapnetting, electrofishing and angling. The muskie stomachs were flushed with water to disgorge the contents without injuring the fish. The captured muskie ranged in size from nine inches to 46 inches. Based on the number and size of consumed food items, yellow perch and white sucker were, by far, the most important fish species consumed by muskies. Only five walleye were found in the 1,092 muskie stomachs examined. Sunfish, crappie and various minnow species were eaten more frequently than walleye in the study lakes. Tullibee were not common in many of the study lakes and therefore were relatively unimportant as food items. However, previous research has shown that tullibee are important food items for muskie in lakes where they are abundant, such as Lake Vermilion. One interesting aspect of the study was that researchers found that muskies would feed on crayfish in lakes with a high population of rusty crayfish. Since the eastern portion of Lake Vermilion has a high population of rusty crayfish, it is likely that muskie there will also feed on crayfish, although probably not enough to decrease the rusty crayfish population.

spacer.gif It is important to understand that muskie and walleye have co-existed in many lakes across the northern United States and southern Canada for centuries. In fact many of the premier muskie lakes in the region are also excellent walleye lakes. This would not be possible if muskie decimated walleye populations as is sometimes suggested. The most important strategies for maintaining walleye populations are to protect habitat, preserve water quality and prevent over-harvest. If anyone has questions about muskie or other fish species in Lake Vermilion please feel free to call me at our Ely office.

Duane Williams,

Large Lake Specialist for Lake Vermilion Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Section of Fisheries

Phone Number: 218-365-7280

fishbait3,

Believe it or not, I had read this same survey before. I'm sure Aggressor had seen it before too...in his years of doing musky research. And the funny part, this is only one of numerous studies that showed similar results. I have never seen a single study that indicated crappie were a primary forage species. That is why I asked Aggressor to show me one...just one. Maybe he can get Kelley and Long to get a quick research paper typed up with all the musky stomach contents surveys they participated in. :=B:

What gets me is there are people all over that claim musky are eating all their favorite fish, and that musky destroy all other fish populations. All you have to do is look at the best and most well known musky lakes throughout the US and Canada...they ALL have OUTSTANDING fishing for several other fish species. People travel for hundreds and hundreds of miles to fish these bodies of water...and not to fish for muskies. The biggest walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and crappie that I have ever seen all came out of lakes with musky in them (the biggest crappie I have ever seen actually came out of Fellows).

So, I will be patiently waiting for Aggressor's findings on the illustrious esox...

KVD

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KVD,

I was using this as evidence but also just how long it took me to find on line which was within 5 Min but seems he got bliggerant in another topic we were talking in over the same thing.

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