Muskie anglers urged to join DNR research effort: MI

Article Posted: September 02, 2003

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Muskie anglers urged to join DNR research effort

Michigan fisheries officials today announced an opportunity for Lake St. Clair anglers to help Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists learn more about a recently discovered disease affecting muskellunge.

DNR Fisheries researchers will host a Sept. 3 Muskie Fishing Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anglers anywhere on Lake St. Clair are encouraged to submit live muskie and northern pike to a holding tank at the Mt. Clemens Fisheries Research Station, located at the mouth of the Clinton River,.

The disease, discovered last year in Lake St. Clair muskie, causes red sores and lesions and is fatal to muskie and pike. Biologists hope to obtain up to 20 muskies bearing external sores characteristic of the disease. The fish will be transferred alive to Michigan State University, where they will undergo bacterial testing. Biologists also hope to collect five muskies without external lesions for testing. Live lamprey attached to any muskie or northern pike with red sores are also desired for testing.

The DNR Research Vessel Channel Cat will be stationed near buoy 14 along the shipping channel in Lake St. Clair and will be prepared for anglers to drop off live fish from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Channel Cat is a 46-foot, blue and white, steel-hull vessel with an open rear deck.

“Lake St. Clair is a world-class destination for muskie fishing,” said DNR research biologist Mike Thomas. “This disease has the potential to negatively impact this species, and we need help from anglers to learn more about it and how to control its impact on Michigan muskie.”

Thomas said a smaller MDNR vessel may also be available to pick up fish, weather permitting. The radio call name for the smaller MDNR vessel will be “RV Goby.” Anglers are encouraged to use VHF radio channel 70 to communicate with both MDNR vessels.

Anglers participating in the muskie fishing day must adhere to the regulations governing legal fishing methods for Michigan or Ontario waters, depending on the jurisdiction in which they elect to fish. Anglers also must possess a valid fishing license and comply with the minimum size and bag limits for the waters they choose to fish. Anglers may begin and conclude fishing at their own discretion, and do not need to stop by the DNR office before fishing. For more information, call Mike Thomas at 586-465-4771.

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