Musky America Magazine November Edition

One of the Muskies caught for the study on a single hook rig was found dead along shore after the 1999 spawning season. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be from the 14/0 single hook that passed through its stomach lining into its rib cage. The stomach was empty except for the giant hook and the musky was much thinner than average. It has long been believed that fluids in a Musky's stomach would dissolve the hook with time. After removing the large hook from this deceased musky, a minor amount of pressure was applied by hand to the giant hook and it snapped! Luckily the video camera was running to record the event. The giant hook was obviously greatly weakened, but not quickly enough to save the musky. All of the CFMS-Y1 Muskies under 40 1/2 inches that were caught on single hook rigs have died. The remaining five, all over 41 inches, continued to live into the following fishing season of 1999, until their transmitters lost battery life. The status of these Muskies could not be determined after this time. For non-biologists, it may be tempting to take the position that three or four dead Muskies out of nine is proof enough. But, keep in mind, a sample is needed that is sufficiently large enough so that the scientific community, as well as laymen, will have confidence in it. Without the support of the scientific community, any findings as to the mortality of Muskies caught on single hook rigs will lack credibility. Additionally, without a large enough sample, groups in this debate could point to the small sampling from the CFMS-Y1 in an attempt to discredit the study's findings. With that in mind - and with the guidance of several fisheries biologists - a greater sized study group of Muskies was determined as appropriate for additional radio-tagging.