Musky Fyke Netting Planned Again in Spring 2019
May 6 @ 8:00 am - May 18 @ 3:00 pm
Fisheries Research staff with the Wisconsin DNR at Spooner plan to set fyke nets to capture muskellunge in Lost Land Lake in early May of 2019. Some readers may recall that WDNR performed a thorough netting operation for muskellunge in spring of 2018 under the direction of WDNR’s Sawyer County Fish Manager, Max Wolter, in a joint operation with another WDNR crew from Spooner who were gathering and fertilizing eggs for hatching at the Thompson Hatchery and eventual stocking of 10-12″ fingerlings throughout northwestern Wisconsin in fall of 2018.
The purpose of this year’s netting operation is to capitalize on an extremely rare opportunity to obtain an accurate estimate of the ACTUAL NUMBER of muskellunge in Lost Land and Teal lakes. During the 2018 netting operations, every untagged muskellunge received a PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tag similar to the tags veterinarians place in pets. The most recently stocked muskellunge in Lost Land Lake (stocked in fall 2012 at an average length of 12.8 inches) also were tagged prior to stocking, and they now comprise a significant proportion of the young adult population. Having so many tagged muskellunge in one lake provides a RARE opportunity to perform a mark/recapture experiment to estimate actual population density within a relatively tight range of confidence. Usually the estimates fall within a very wide range due to relatively low numbers of marked fish.
We are pleased that WDNR will know more about the Lost Land Lake muskellunge population than virtually any other lake in the State of Wisconsin. If you see their shallow-set fyke nets (marked with WDNR buoys and strung with a long lead perpendicular to shore), please give it a wide berth. Watch this website for results once the population estimate and 95% confidence intervals have been calculated.