Let's discuss the possibility of bringing the Muskellunge (Muskie) back to Arizona!

Brandyn Shepherd
Brandyn Shepherd 298 Comments
614 SignaturesGoal: 1,000

Re-introducing the Muskie to Arizona waters...

The Arizona Game and Fish is interested in your thoughts!

Which lake/s would you like to see stocked with Muskie?

We are promoting and collecting signatures and comments from those who are interested in the possibility of re-introducing the Muskellunge to Arizona.

The idea for this petition is not to print it out and wave it in front of a higher power. It was set up to serve as a positive platform to support and discuss the possibilities of re-introducing the Muskie to Arizona.

Click Here to view the Arizona Muskie Fishing Facebook Group

Please, watch these Muskie videos from Lindner's Angling Edge...
Muskie Impact: Click Here to Watch
A Brief History of the Muskie: Click Here to Watch

In 1973, thirty thousand six hundred Muskellunge (Muskie) sac-fry were planted in Mormon Lake southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Shad were also stocked in the lake. The lake went dry and the Muskie anglers and the Muskies did not stand a chance. There are several lakes in Arizona that can potentially support a healthy population of Muskies. With suitable habitat and water temperatures... let's try and give them another chance.

Muskie have been found in over 35 states and exist in over 1,000 different bodies of water throughout the United States and Canada. Tiger Muskie have been stocked in over 25 states including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Muskie do well in lakes and rivers.

Largemouth Bass were introduced to Arizona in 1897, Flathead Catfish were introduced in the 1940's, Walleye were introduced in 1957, and Northern Pike were introduced to Arizona in 1965. Some of the best Bass and Walleye fisheries in the country are also some of the best Muskie fisheries. Muskies and other species of game fish co-exist well together.

Illinois once had a native population of Muskies. Due to pollution, overharvest, and destruction of natural habitat, the Muskie fishery had disappeared by the late 1960’s. Through private donations, the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters division of Muskies Inc. was able to purchase Muskie fingerlings and public lakes in Illinois were stocked in the 1970’s. Several different strains of Muskie fingerlings were purchased or trades were made. Numerous states including Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin helped provide Illinois with different strains of Muskie. Fish from all over eventually lead to a new strain of Muskie, which is now referred to as the “Illinois Strain.”

Muskie diet samples were collected between May 2007 and May 2012 in Mingo Lake, Otter Lake, Pierce Lake, Ridge Lake, Sam Dale Lake, Lake Shelbyville, and Lake of the Woods located in Illinois. There was no consistent pattern of predation on Largemouth Bass or other game fish species. Shad were the primary forage of Muskies when present. Largemouth Bass populations were analyzed after Muskie introductions in Johnson Lake, Wheel Lake, and Shovel Lake - also located in Illinois. Data and catch records from anglers show that Largemouth Bass populations and overall average size increased after Muskies were introduced.

The Muskie is a very important game fish in Wisconsin and throughout North America. 1,092 Muskie in 34 bodies of water located in Wisconsin were studied from July 1991 to October 1994. Only 34.3% of the total Muskie had food in their stomach. 74% of the Muskie had one single prey item in their stomach. Fish made up 98% of the Muskies diet. Walleye ranked low in the Muskies diet while Yellow Perch were the primary forage.

The Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit believes Muskies would be a better suited alternative to Northern Pike in Arizona waters. The two can co-exist together.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have talked about stocking Tiger Muskies in the Colorado River to help manage the Northern Pike population to protect native species of fish.

New Mexico has stocked Tiger Muskies and it improved an existing Trout fishery according to resident anglers.

Flathead Catfish are known as apex predators in many bodies of water throughout the U.S. Indeed, Arizona supports several healthy Flathead Catfish populations in its lakes. In fact, some of those same lakes also support healthy populations of game fish such as Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass. Many small (less than 100 acres) and large lakes around the lower 48 contain Muskies as well as excellent populations of Bluegill, Crappie, Bass, and Walleye. In a popular aquarium, Muskies have gone up to six months without eating. Muskie are more selective in their feeding habits, generally eat less than Flathead Catfish, and usually exist in much lower numbers. Furthermore, predatory fishes such as Muskies have the potential to increase the size and quality of certain fish populations of species such as Largemouth Bass.

Muskie prefer water temperatures around 75 degrees and can tolerate water temperatures in the 89-93 degree range (Scott and Crossman 1973; Hassan and Spotila 1976; Reynolds and Casterlin 1979, Jobling 1981). Northern Pike prefer water temperatures around 68 degrees. Northern Pike can tolerate water temperatures over 86 degrees (Ridenhour 1957). Striped Bass prefer water temperatures in the 45-68 degree range. Striped Bass will be under stress when water temperatures exceed 77 degrees (Moyle 2002). Water temperatures exceeding 86 degrees can be lethal for Striped Bass. Walleye prefer water temperatures in the 68-75 degree range (Dendy 1948; Ferguson 1958; Kelso 1972; Huh et al. 1976). Water temperatures in the 86-95 degree range can be lethal for Walleye (Koenst and Smith 1976; Momot et al. 1977). Northern Pike, Striped Bass, and Walleye have done well in several lakes in Arizona.

Experiencing the opportunity Muskies offer will create memories and a passion that will last a lifetime. Muskie can be caught on specialized Muskie fishing tackle, heavy Bass gear, and fly fishing equipment both casting or trolling - day and night. They will hit a wide variety of fishing lures and can also be caught on live bait. Low-light conditions, moon phases, and weather changes will sometimes increase Muskie activity. The Muskie is renowned as a sport fish, because they are challenging to catch, will test angling ability, and can reach sizes over 50 inches long. Re-introducing the Muskie to Arizona would present unique opportunities for the public, anglers, and biologists.




Arizona Muskie Fishing Lake Prospects

Lake Pleasant
Surface Area: Currently, Lake Pleasant is over 9,000 acres in size.
Average Depth: Approximately 70 ft
Maximum Depth: 400+ ft
According to the Lake Pleasant Regional Park website, Lake Pleasant is home to Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, White Crappie, White Bass, Striped Bass, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, and Tilapia. Shad and Carp are also abundant in Lake Pleasant.

Ideas for Lake Pleasant Muskie Fishing

  • Stock Pure Muskellunge
  • Stock Multiple Strains
  • Closed Muskie fishing season and/or water release during the months of June, July, August, and September due to boat traffic and high surface water temperatures.

Angler concerns

  • Overabundant Striped Bass population.

Muskie Impact

  • Muskie can potentially regulate the Striped Bass population, improve Largemouth Bass angler satisfaction, and create a new, trophy fishery.

Navionics Topography Map for Lake Pleasant
webapp.navionics.com/#@9&key=sn~mEzn_lT


Ashurst Lake

Surface Area: 229 acres
Average Depth: 12 ft
Fish species in Ashurst Lake include Rainbow Trout, Channel Catfish, and Northern Pike.

Ideas for Ashurst Lake Muskie Fishing

  • Stock pure Muskellunge and/or Tiger Muskie
  • Stock Multiple Strains

Angler concerns

  • Northern Pike reproduction may lead to overpopulation.

Muskie Impact

  • Muskie can potentially regulate the Northern Pike population without eliminating it.

Navionics Topography Map for Ashurst Lake
webapp.navionics.com/#@12&key=kovtEnv%7CfT


Upper Lake Mary

Surface Area: 850 acres
Average Depth: Approximately 15 ft
Maximum Depth: Approximately 38 ft
Fish species in Upper Lake Mary may include Bluegill, Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Bass, Rainbow Trout, Channel Catfish, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, and Walleye.

Ideas for Ashurst Lake Muskie Fishing

  • Stock pure Muskellunge
  • Stock Multiple Strains

Angler concerns

  • Northern Pike reproduction may lead to overpopulation.

Muskie Impact

  • Muskie can potentially regulate the Northern Pike population without eliminating it.

Navionics Topography Map for Upper Lake Mary
https://webapp.navionics.com/#boating@11&key=op~tE...


Salt River Chain
Theodore Roosevelt Lake - 21,491 acres
Apache Lake - 2,567 acres
Canyon Lake - 949 acres
Saguaro Lake - 1,264 acres
Fish species in the Salt River Chain include Sunfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Bass, Rainbow Trout, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, and Walleye.

Ideas for Salt River Chain Muskie Fishing

  • Stock pure Muskie in Apache Lake
  • Stock Tiger Muskie in Canyon Lake
  • Stock Multiple Strains
  • Closed Muskie fishing season and/or water release during the months of June, July, August, and September due to high surface water temperatures.

Navionics Topography Map for the Salt River Chain of Lakes
webapp.navionics.com/#@8&key=ycklEpjyeT




Muskie Research
Muskellunge Habitat Suitability Index: Click Here
Investigating the performance of different genetic strains of Muskies:
Click Here
Muskie Diet: Click Here

Muskie Fishing TV Shows
The Musky Hunter TV: youtube.com/user/MuskyHunterTV/videos
Keyes Outdoors TV show: youtube.com/user/keyesoutdoors/videos

Muskie Conservation
Muskies Inc. - Click Here

Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Website: Click Here
Arizona Game and Fish Mormon Lake Muskellunge Stocking: Click Here
Walleye stocking and fishing in Arizona: Click Here

Search YouTube for Muskie fishing videos
youtube.com/results?search_query=muskie+fishing

Arizona Muskie Fishing Facebook Page
facebook.com/groups/arizonamuskiefishing




Let's discuss the possibility of bringing the Muskellunge back to Arizona's amazing fishery!

Thank you. Your time is appreciated.


We are not asking for donations. The donation page that comes up is for ipetitions. We are not receiving any donations for stocking efforts. You do not have to pay or donate any money to sign and comment on this web page.

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