Our 2020 PIT Tagging program went extremely well. We added several new bodies of water and couple more people to our PIT Tagging crew of anglers. In total for 2020 alone we tagged 86 Muskies and we recaptured an additional 21 fish that had already been tagged either this year or past years. Which is kind of an eye opener in and of itself right, 1 of every 5 fish caught by these anglers this year have already been caught by someone with Pit tagging capabilities. Keep in mind this is the very first year our Pit taggers have been able to Tag bodies of water like: Sand, Island, Round, Long, Chain, Mccann, Amacoy, Potato, Clear, Dairyland, and Fireside. Joe Heil has completed data entry for all of this year’s tagging and forwarded the information to Joseph Gerbyshak.
The club is attempting to get approval to install Danger Shallow Water Buoys on Lake Wissota’s Yellow River bar as well as Larson’s Point. We feel this will be money well spent to increase the safety of all boaters on the water. I am sure most of you have seen the big wakeboard boats, pleasure boaters, and pontoons motor half-plane across these extremely shallow water areas and hit bottom or have seen all the skeg marks on the bottom with your Side Imaging units. We also hope that by warning these boaters of these shallow water areas and deterring traffic across them that it will also give weeds a better chance at coming back and providing much needed fish habitat in these areas.
If we can get approval by the townships and the DNR we would purchase the buoys and hardware and be responsible for putting them in out in the spring and taking them out in the fall. We have already spoken with the DNR rec warden and are now in the process of reaching out to the townships involved to try to move things forward.
We are still running the gauntlet contacting every Fish Hatchery we can get on the phone trying to convince them that growing musky for us through the DNR’s Aquaculture bill. Aquaculture Bill Muskies are the only Genetically verified Muskies that the DNR will allow to be stocked North of hwy 10 in Wisconsin, currently there are zero hatcheries on board and willing to work with this DNR program to grow these fish. We have approval right now to purchase 2000 of these fish to stock in our waters if we can find a hatchery willing to grow them. We are going to continue to circle the wagon in hopes we can get one of these hatcheries on board in time to grow fish to stock in 2021. Fingers crossed.
Local Biologists now have our additional Pit Tagged Fish database to better evaluate growth rates and travel of muskies on a far wider range of our local area than they have in years past. Along with recapture data on several DNR Tagged muskies our Pit Tag anglers have recaptured. The second time a muskie is handled and identified via PIT Tag is where most of the valuable information is obtained like growth rate from A to B capture etc.
Lake Wissota was mentioned in Feb/March 2021 Musky Hunter Article written by Jordan Weeks about Leech Lake strain success rates on various bodies of water in Wisconsin and worth checking out if you haven’t yet.