Musky America Magazine

Musky are confused by the weather, and so is the DNR By Dave Orrick – Pioneer Press (4/10/12) It got warm, then hot, and now it's chilly. If that threw your spring wardrobe out of whack, imagine what it's done for spawning muskellunge. The warm water temperatures in central and southern Minnesota lakes brought the males in shallow, ready for some action. Many have been stood up by females not quite in the mood yet, their eggs not ready, while other females inexplicably seemed to have dumped their eggs. The dating scene in the walleye world isn't a whole lot different: There's a lot more flirtation than actual spawning. The fish are confused by the weather, and so are fisheries biologists, who are trying to gather eggs and sperm to hatch fish to be stocked statewide. "I've talked to everyone I can think of, guys who have been doing this for 30 years, and all these guys are scratching their heads this year," said Neil Vanderbosch, who coordinates the annual egg-taking program for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "Nobody has much experience with this kind of weather." Vanderbosch said people from private hatcheries and Iowa have told him they're having similar experiences, and it looks like it will be a challenge for many hatcheries to gather enough eggs to meet their quotas. The confusion lies in the balance of temperature and the length of day. Generally, fish rely on both to spawn.