Should muskys have to be 40 inches by law? (Wisc)

Should muskys have to be 40 inches by law?

yes
7
100%
no
0
No votes
undecided
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7
dan
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Should muskys have to be 40 inches by law? (Wisc)

Unread postby dan » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:02 am

40 inch statewide musky rule?

Question 2 – Muskellunge 40-inch minimum size limit on most waters statewide
This proposal would increase the minimum size limit from 34 to 40 inches for muskellunge on approximately 600 waters. It would decrease the minimum size limit to 28 inches for muskellunge on ten slow-growth waters: English and Mineral lakes (Ashland County), Bearskin, Booth, and Squaw lakes (Oneida County), Julia Lake (on the border of Oneida and Forest counties), Butternut and Solberg lakes (Price County), Spider Lake (Sawyer County), and Upper Gresham Lake (Vilas County).
The current 34-inch minimum size limit, which applies to the majority of muskellunge waters in the state, generally does not allow muskellunge populations to reach their full biological growth potential, does not allow muskellunge populations to meet the expectations of anglers in Wisconsin, and does not adequately protect female muskellunge to full maturity.
The growth potential of muskellunge easily exceeds 40 inches on the vast majority of muskellunge waters in the state. Even lakes down to about 50 acres are biologically capable of producing 40-inch or larger fish, except in a few high density, slow-growing populations. However, the average length of harvested muskellunge from 2000-2008 was 38.7 inches; 62% of fish were less than 40 inches.
A 40-inch minimum size limit will protect fish from harvest until they reach a size that is minimally acceptable to most musky anglers. Mail surveys, conducted in both 1989 and 1999, indicated that only 2% of muskellunge anglers and 11% of non-muskellunge anglers consider some size less than 40 inches to be a “trophy,” and a majority of responses from both angler groups considered 50-inch muskellunge to be a “trophy.” In the 1999 survey, 70% of musky anglers favored a 40-inch statewide minimum size limit. States surrounding Wisconsin all have higher statewide minimum size limits (Minnesota – 48 inches, Michigan – 42 inches, Iowa – 40 inches, Missouri – 36 inches, Illinois – 36 inches).
The average length at which 95% of female muskellunge in a population reach sexual maturity is 40.8 inches. Researchers believe that muskellunge have increased reproductive success after their second or third year of spawning, and that reproductive success in a population varies from year to year. Therefore, the existence of several age groups of mature females in a population may improve reproductive success.
An evaluation of the 40-inch minimum size limit on 24 lakes over a 15-year period revealed a significant increase in the percentage of 34-inch and larger fish, as well as a significant increase in the percentage of 40-inch and larger fish, relative to lakes that remained under the 34-inch minimum size limit. No significant changes in the abundance of muskellunge were found, so an increase in muskellunge abundance (number per acre) with this regulation is not expected.
Finally, this proposal would greatly simplify regulations by reducing the number of regulation categories from 5 to 3. If approved, the uniform 40-inch minimum size limit regulation would apply to approximately 750, or 95%, of muskellunge waters. Approximately 20 waters would have a 28-inch minimum size limit and approximately 20 waters would continue to have a 45- or 50-inch minimum size limit.

Do you favor increasing the minimum size limit to 40 inches for muskellunge on all waters that currently have a 34-inch minimum size limit, and decreasing the minimum size limit to 28 inches for muskellunge on ten slow-growth waters: English and Mineral lakes (Ashland County), Bearskin, Booth, and Squaw lakes (Oneida County), Julia Lake (on the border of Oneida and Forest counties), Butternut and Solberg lakes (Price County), Spider Lake (Sawyer County), and Upper Gresham Lake (Vilas County)?
2. YES_______ NO______ 10



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