Truth is that the most recent YOY results have been poor. Also, our Catch and Release data show that in the past 5 years that the population of younger muskies have been historically low. The percentage of larger fish, however, have been at all-time highs.
I do believe that although we might never have the population or reproduction of the 1970s to mid 1990s, that is seems that our recruitment has been sufficient to sustain the current "trophy" fishery - one with less but larger fish.
The article was posted as an discussion on LOU today. I am wondering if there is any info about how the gobies may be affecting the success of other species spawning efforts as well as in other Great Lakes fisheries.
I think stuff like this that happens over time is difficult to understand. When one thing happens and another thing counters it, there can be push back or one or more collateral occurrences. With the long growth period of muskies, maybe the effects on them from gobies will take longer to be apparent. And every fishery and species within them may or may not react the same way as another since gobies are only one piece of the puzzle.
Comparatively speaking, the puzzle of Niagara Falls I got for my sister many years ago, which was very difficult, is easy.
The studies of Dr John Farrell in the St Lawrence have proven however, that gobies eat musky eggs on their spawning grounds and I think he also said that they feed on musky frye. So it could also be an issue, among others, in the Niagara River.