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West Virginia Wildlife
Musky Program
Patrick McMurtry A Genuine Fish Story

July 31, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


One thing that should be on everyone's to do list is going fishing for musky. These are some magnificent animals, and thanks to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources ongoing commitment to stocking and managing musky populations in our state, you can fish for them all over. Scott Morrison, a biologist with the wildlife resources division of the DNR, explains the musky program.

"We have a program in North Bend Lake where we have twenty four musky with sound tags so we can monitor their movement. In the past, we've done projects in Middle Island Creek, the Buckhannon River and Elk River. There we tag fish and we get information where we capture fish that have been tagged before."

They're huge adults by the time you see them, but their journey actually begins at the Palestine hatchery or others when these monster fish are small fries.

"We stock fingerlings in streams and advance fingerlings in lakes. Anglers in West Virginia benefit from it, it's been very successful. We keep track of musky club records, there are three musky clubs in West Virginia that keep track of musky catches each year and around 60% caught and registered comes from our stocked waters." says Morrison.

Stocking is only one area of musky management. Keeping tabs on the population and knowing where to stock are other parts of the planning.

We have basically two programs, the first one, we have a lot of waters that have mature musky. Those are streams where we basically monitor water quality, occasionally we'll do a research study there. Our other major project is our stocking program." says Morrison.

Combined, these efforts make sure there are plenty of musky for you to catch, and by all accounts, the musky management is a big success.

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