Michigan’s statewide muskellunge possession season begins June 3, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking the public to participate in the muskellunge angler survey to help biologists obtain valuable data on this important sport fish.
“Muskellunge are difficult to survey, so biologists are dependent upon information provided by anglers to help us manage this species, said DNR fisheries biologist Neal Godby in Gaylord. “Angler survey reports give us insight into the relative abundance of muskellunge in a waterbody, size structure of the population, and whether the muskellunge in that waterbody are creating a fishery.”
The DNR’s online muskellunge angler survey gathers information about muskellunge angler demographics and catch data, such as length of fish caught, angler effort, water body fished and methods used. Since 2014, fisheries managers have used survey data to recommend fishing regulation changes to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, evaluate the muskellunge stocking program and understand more about self-sustaining populations. The survey is the public’s opportunity to contribute to the proper management of muskies.
Whether the trip results in a muskie caught or not, anglers can offer valuable information about their fishing experience in Michigan waters. The survey is limited to one entry per person, per trip. However, the DNR encourages anglers to complete a survey for every fishing trip where they target or encounter a muskie.
Past survey data from prior years can be seen here.
Muskellunge season is open to catch and immediate release year-round, with the possession season opening statewide the first Saturday in June. For additional season dates and fish lengths, see the 2023 Michigan Fishing Guide.
Anglers are limited to taking only one muskellunge per license year and are required to register their harvest by calling 888-636-7778, going online at Michigan.gov/RegisterFish, or on the new Michigan DNR Hunt Fish mobile app.