We've been trying to get Chris Driscoll to do a presentation on the Musky Telemetry study & the YOY seining they did this year.
Unfortunately he can't make it because they are real busy due to staffing issues. He can be available for one of our meetings between Dec & March on one or both of the subjects.
GOOD NEWS!!: YOY musky seining at near shore locations netted about 19 muskies this year!!
Coming up, next week they will be doing their fall electrofishing at the restoration sites
John, That is great to hear. Where were those YOY muskies? Upper, Harbor or other?
It would be nice to be able to put his presentation on video to be able to present it at MI Chapters 69 and 70 meetings.
Chris told me that they're behind schedule on their field work because of staffing issues earlier. I know that in 2020 they couldn't ride together in the same truck because COVID was a factor. He did say that he wouldn't do a presentation justice right now but will be available between Dec & March. As far as recording, yes that would be great but I have no idea who has any equipment. We'll give plenty of notice when he is presenting.
Typically we have our Christmas party in December and don't have a meeting in January. Feb is usually our Conservation meeting so it might be then.
I don't know for sure as to the locations but I do know that seining the same locations at the same time every year using the same methods is very important. It cuts down on introducing variability.
Last time I seined with them (2015?) the DEC seined Big Six Mile Creek marina, East River Marsh off the swamp & breakwalls (between Beaver & Motor Islands, the North end of Motor Island, Ice Boom Bay, the Bell Slip and the Strawberry Island lagoon on the north end. If it was changed or any others added or subtracted, that we'll find out at the presentation.
19 YOY, I do not recall ever seeing that high a number of young of the year musky caught in a year, do you?
Do we know if they performed more seining than in previous years or if they performed seining at more locations?
In the mid-1990s I believe they would get about 42 or so in Strawberry bay, before it descended to 0. There were other areas they did well, too. The 19 is probably one of the better numbers since 2000.
I have some old data somewhere, I'll have to see if I could find it.
Tony...I don't know if they performed more or less than they used to. I will send him an email and try to setup a February meeting for his presentation. By then he should have some conclusions from our telemetry study, the YOY seining and their fall electrofishing results.
I believe a couple of years ago they electrofished a couple of 20+ inchers in the Black Rock Canal and Spicer Creek.
When I did it with them (see September 2015 Newsletter article), six were seined in the North end of Motor and two in the Bell Slip. The two at Bell were the longest and healthiest looking. One regurgitated a 1/4" goby.
The following year Chris Legard seined one at Big Six Mile Creek and that was it for that year; just one. The water levels were high that year and the poor results were attributed to the YOY being more spread out.
I'll work with Chris D and let us know when he'll present. It'll be a good one
I've attached a small portion of data from the following publication:
"Trends in muskellunge population and fishery characteristics in Buffalo Harbor (Lake Erie) and the Niagara River" authored by Kevin Kapuscinski, John M. Farrell, and Michael Wilkinson and published in 2012.
I'm attaching because I'm unable to copy and paste the data to this website.
In brief summary, the study shows YOY numbers in the upper Niagara from 1992-1994 and 2006 -2009. Numbers ranged from 19 (2009) to 119 (1993). 19 is actually the lowest number during those documented years. The YOY for years 2006 to 2009 are likely the year classes we've been catching since 2011 or so.
The more significant number may be the CPUE (catch per hour?). The CPUE for the years 2006-2009 ranged between 3.3 (2008) and 7.7 (2006).
It is noteworthy, I think, that the CPUE was highest in 2006, when angler catch rates were also at historical lows.
Here's the attachment: YOY study.pdf
Tony...it looks like they did their YOY sampling by electrofishing. He calls it the "Fall Electrofishing" and refers to it as YOY sampling
Do you know what year they started net seining? Seining only covers a small area whereas electrofishing could cover a much larger area.
Was the electrofishing done from a boat or by standing in the water, similar to the way streams are sampled?
The net seining Dr K was doing was the last week in July, every year. It was imperative to do it the same time period every year to reduce the introduction of variables.
When we sampled, the largest YOY's were from the Bell Slip (about 3" -4" long). The smallest were from Motor (2"-3" long). He said that muskies need to grow to 10"-12" by the winter in order to survive so it seems like it would be easier to get them when they're larger.
No, not sure when they started seining in lieu of electrofishing. And you're right, difficult to compare the two.
From what I know (I particiapated once) the electrofishing is done from a boat. Can obviously cover more water than seining, I think.
Tony & John,
Unfortunately, this is fall electrofishing and not summer seining. I am not sure the two can equate to each other. It is interesting how wide the number of sites that were sampled varies from year to year.
The number they seined this years is something I would really like to know.
If I recall correctly as an approximation, musky make it to about 32" in three years and then grow about 1" per year, correct?
I've attached some data from our cleithra study in the 1990s. Most fish don't reach 30 inches until year 5 or 6. Thereafter males tend to grow an inch a year and females at a faster rate. I believe maturity for males is low 30s, and females about 35 or 36 inches.
I have more data in paper form which I can look at. The St Lawrence fish are for comparison purposes. From this data it appears that the growth rates are comparable, but I think I have more recent data suggesting that St. Lawrence fish grow faster after maturity.
In comparison here's the cleithra analysis from a harbor fish caught in 1995. 13 years old and 47 inches. Appears to grow faster than the previous river fish.
Cleithra 47 inch harbor fish 13yo.pdf
Tony Scime said:
seems odd that the harbor fish would grow at twice the rate of river fish.
If I recall correctly they had the same genetics from Kevin’s study.
Just more food and more space?