The Flatlanders Chapter supports Muskies, Inc. research efforts. The Members Only Fishing Contest provides valuable data for the Lunge Log. This data is not only useful by anglers, but the scientific community can analyze it to determine if certain bodies of water are experiencing changes in species populations. The angler can use this data to determine what lakes are producing or not producing. The researcher can look at the data and see trends in fish populations and or size variations and decide whether further study is needed to determine why a body or water is on the decline or otherwise changing.
One of the largest efforts by Muskies, Inc. in the area of Research is the Muskie Symposium. There have been several Symposiums over the years. The Symposium is a gathering of scientific experts, DNR, Fisheries biologists and other recognized experts that get together to share scientific knowledge relating to the Muskellunge. There is a publication that comes out of the Symposium that is a useful tool to be used by those managing muskie programs in the states and in Canada. Muskies, Inc. provides the funding to host the event and the Chapters help provide the funding as well. The Flatlanders Chapter has contributed to past Symposiums and will support future events.
We have contributed to the Capital City Chapter PIT tag study. In this study, muskies were implanted with a PIT tag at time of stocking. Different strains of muskies were tagged. The purpose was to determine what strain of muskellunge does better in the Madison chain of lakes. Both Leech Lake and Wisconsin strains were planted. Many of the local guides were supplied with scanners. They were asked to scan fish caught by them or their clients. The data collected is used to determine the strain, the growth rate (size), the age, the date stocked and the date of catch! This information is valuable for use in determining what strain to stock in future!
As a member of the Illini Muskies Alliance, our dues and other monies help fund some of IMA’s efforts. One such effort was the Creel Study. Weather proof boxes containing release forms were set up near the boat launches on some Illinois lakes. The angler catching a muskellunge from that lake was asked to report that catch, its date caught and its size. IMA compiled that data and published reports at the end of the year as to what lakes were producing fish and what size. The data was shared with the Illinois DNR. Together with the DNR stocking data and the IMA capture data, the DNR could make decisions on future stocking and lake management.
The Flatlanders Chapter supports scientific research whenever possible. Many challenges exist for the future of fishing. The research conducted by and or through the efforts of Muskies, Inc. will help ensure a viable fishery for generations to come!