Musky America Magazine November Edition

It's not like the DNR doesn't appreciate the importance of the forage base to a healthy Musky fishery. In a recent article from the WDNR penned by Tim Simonson, he included a chart of the belly contents from kept and mounted Musky. The chart he included is from 1994. The chart shows the importance of the forage base to a healthy Musky fishery. Unfortunately, due to the higher size limits resulting in 100% release of Musky, there is no current information on what Musky are eating but it is unlikely that dietary preferences have changed very much. So, if the forage base is this important to the health of a Musky fishery, why isn't the WDNR doing forage base assessments on Wisconsin Musky fisheries on a regular basis? The WDNR will most likely try to blame a shrinking budget but that is just another copout to avoid the development of good science. They seem to have the money to pay for useless creel surveys and uncertified Musky telephone surveys. As an example, lets look at Northeastern Wisconsin. As you can see from the illustration at the left, this area has a good population of water that is considered to be Musky fisheries. Many of these lakes were once considered "big fish" waters; among them Star Lake and Preque Isle Lake. They had that reputation because there was a robust forage base supporting a