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Michigan DNR continues to learn about muskellunge

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Michigan Muskie Alliance, continues to investigate the state’s muskellunge fisheries through its online angler survey.

The 2017 Muskellunge Angler Survey is gathering information about muskellunge angler demographics and catch data. Muskellunge anglers have been surveyed since 2014, but only online since 2016. Traditional methods, including creel and postcards, have not been as successful at collecting this type of information. The current survey can be found on both the DNR’s website at michigan.gov/muskie and the Michigan Muskie Alliance website at michiganmuskiealliance.org/.

During the winter months muskellunge anglers who hook-and-line fish through the ice or spear-fish are invited to complete the survey. Most survey efforts are done during the open water periods, so collecting catch-and-harvest data during the winter through this survey is a valuable opportunity for the DNR.

Questions currently in the survey have been modified to reflect winter fishing for muskellunge. Just like “follows” during the open water months, recording the number of fish that anglers see in the winter is very helpful when evaluating densities.

All information collected via the 2017 Muskellunge Angler Survey plays a key role in proper fisheries management. Anglers may fill out one survey per person, per trip and they may complete a survey for each angling trip they make.

The muskellunge harvest season on all inland waters, Upper Peninsula Great Lakes and the St. Marys River ends March 15. For additional season closures, check the 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide.

In order to harvest a muskellunge in Michigan, a harvest tag is required. These tags are obtained when purchasing a Michigan fishing license or any date thereafter, as long as the angler has their fishing license and a valid driver’s license.

Starting April 1, 2018, the muskellunge harvest tag no longer will be required. However, anglers who decide to harvest a muskellunge after that time must register their fish with the DNR. For more information, visit michigan.gov/muskie.