Musky America Magazine November Edition

season. Chippewa Flowage Musky charts reveal that approximately 100 legal size Muskies are caught on single hooks each year. Across Wisconsin, it is estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 legal size Muskies are caught each year on single hook rigs. Consider the potential total number of Muskies that are caught on single hook rigs each year throughout all of Musky country and the numbers become mind boggling. Keep in mind that the vast majority of these Muskies are being released under the assumption they will live to fight another day. Will these Muskies survive? If this study finds that a large percentage of these Muskies are dying then we could have a major deprivation of the fishery staring us in the face. If, on the other hand, this study discovers that the single hook rig is not having a significant negative impact, then we will be the wiser for the experience. SINGLE HOOK FINDINGS FROM CFMS-Y1 Of the 47 Muskies involved in the CFMS-Y1, nine were caught and released using single hook sucker rigs. All were throat or gut-hooked during the fall of 1998. Of the nine, four had died by the end of May 1999. One was caught in an otter trap and autopsies revealed that the other three had died as a result of injuries sustained from the single hooks. Another specimen, a 35-inch male, was caught on a jerkbait during the summer of 1998 and implanted with a radio transmitter. In the process, it was hooked in the eye and gills, and was severely stressed and bleeding from the ordeal, but survived. It was tracked successfully throughout the rest of the open water season. However, in mid-May of 1999, it was found dead along shore. A single hook rig was discovered to be the cause of its demise.