The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking those who fish for muskellunge to help with its ongoing efforts to investigate these fish through the DNR’s online muskie angler survey.
Since 2014, this survey has gathered information about muskie angler demographics and catch data, such as length of fish caught, angler effort, body of water fished and methods used. Fisheries managers have used this data to recommend fishing regulation changes to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, evaluate the muskie stocking program and understand more about self-sustaining populations.
Traditional methods, including in-person creel surveys and postcards, have not been as successful as the online survey at collecting this type of information. Anglers may fill out one survey per person, per trip and are encouraged to complete a survey for each muskie fishing trip they make.
“Because muskellunge are so elusive in our netting and electrofishing sampling efforts, muskellunge management relies heavily on angler reports to understand more about population abundance and angling success,” said Matt Diana, DNR fisheries biologist in Plainwell.
Muskie are open to catch and immediate release year-round, with the possession season opening statewide the first Saturday in June. For additional season dates and fish length limits, see the 2021 Michigan Fishing Guide at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests. As a reminder, anglers are limited to taking only one muskie per license year and are required to register their harvest by calling 888-636-7778 or online at Michigan.gov/RegisterFish.
See the current survey and past survey data at Michigan.gov/Muskie.