April 20, 2020
Ohio Muskie Anglers,
The Ohio Division of Wildlife has taken a different approach to meeting our annual stocking needs for muskellunge during 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal of stocking 19,890 advanced fingerlings in nine reservoirs has not changed, but the way we need to go about it has.
This is obviously not a typical year and we have had to adjust in many ways. In a typical year, Division of Wildlife crews net adult muskellunge from Leesville Lake during early to mid-April to take and fertilize eggs for part of our muskellunge production. Then, additional fertilized eggs are obtained the Minor Clark State Fish Hatchery, operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), to augment our needs. Unfortunately, we could not collect eggs from Leesville Lake this year because the time period required to do so overlapped with the peak of COVID-19 ramping up, and, KDFWR did not take any muskellunge eggs this year for the same reason. Similar situations have occurred in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission believes that they may be able to provide our fish hatcheries with 55,000 2-3 inch fingerling muskellunge this June. These fish would be grown out in our hatcheries to advanced fingerlings to meet our annual stocking goal this fall. We are very appreciative of this generous offer and are hopeful that this approach works out. Fish production happens one step at a time and we will keep you posted as efforts progress.
Thank you for your understating and continued support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Executive Administrator, Fish Management & Research
ODNR Division of Wildlife
Phone: (614) 265-6554 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org