FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19 2003
THOUSANDS OF MUSKELLUNGE FINGERLINGS TO BE RELEASED INTO OHIO WATERWAYS
Two educational events open to the public will coincide with stockings
COLUMBUS, OH - More than 16,000 muskellunge (muskie) fingerlings will be
stocked into eight lakes across the state this fall, according to the Ohio
Department of Natural Resource (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. State
fisheries biologists will stock the 8 to 12 inch fingerlings into Alum
Creek, Caesar Creek, Clear Fork, Cowan, Leesville, Piedmont, Salt Fork,
and West Branch lakes in September and October.
This year's stocking program will include two, special educational events
for the public at Clear Fork Reservoir in Morrow and Richland counties,
and at Leesville Lake in Carroll County.
"Anyone interested in learning more about muskies, observing these fish up
close, or wanting to watch the stocking activity is encouraged to attend,
" said John Navarro, administrator for Ohio's fish hatchery program. "Muskies
capture people's interest because of their large size and fighting
The first educational program will be held at Clear Fork Reservoir's new
boat ramp on Thursday, September 25 at 10:30 a.m. The second event is
slated for Friday, October 3 at 12:30 p.m. and will be held at Camp
The muskie fingerlings were raised at Kincaid State Fish Hatchery in Pike
County and London State Fish Hatchery in Madison County. The 8 to 12 inch
muskie fingerlings will grow to a catchable size of 30 to 36 inches in
three to four years. Muskellunge are long, slender fish with a large
duckbill shaped mouth and needle sharp teeth.
Muskellunge are native to Ohio and are found in both major drainage basins
of the state. Historically, they were abundant in the bays and tributaries
of Lake Erie and in many streams in the Ohio River Valley.
Thanks to the wildlife division's stocking program, muskies are also found
in several lakes around the state. Prime muskie habitat is found in
heavily vegetated lakes with plentiful tree stumps and bays.
Prime stream habitat for muskies includes long pools with a minimum depth
of at least 3 to 4 feet and an abundance of submerged woody structure.
Typically, male muskie range from 22 to 39 inches long and weigh from 3 to
21 pounds. Females can range from 22 to 50 inches in length and weigh from
3 to 40 pounds. The state record muskie is listed at 50.25 inches long and
weighing 55 pounds, 1 ounce. It was caught in 1972 from Piedmont Lake in
Bait casting and trolling are the most popular ways to catch Ohio muskies.
A wide variety of lures are used successfully, including pikie minnows,
bombers, daredevils, spoons and various spinners and artificial worms.
Casting to the edge of vegetation beds and submerged cover and using a
fast retrieve is often productive. Trolling with deep running lures, like
the bomber, during the summer months takes numerous muskies. Muskies are
strong fighters and provide a great thrill to anyone lucky
enough to hook one.
For additional news online, check out the ODNR Press Room at Ohiodnr.com
For Further Information Contact:
John Navarro, ODNR Division of Wildlife
Andy Ware, ODNR Media Relations
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