Fisheries and Stocking
Muskies, Inc. founder Gil Hamm established the organization in 1966 with one purpose in mind: to increase the number of muskie lakes in Minnesota. He wanted more lakes designated for muskie management, and he wanted Minnesota to raise more muskies.
In the 1970s Muskies, Inc. raised muskies in its own Battle Lake, MN hatchery and in the 1980s and 90s raised fry in metro-area ponds over the summer to stocking size in the fall. Now we rely on fry from DNR spring egg takes that are raised by both the DNR and private hatcheries.
Since its inception, Muskies, Inc./the Twin Cities chapter has worked with the MN DNR to improve the muskie fishery and to help fulfill muskie stocking goals. Over the years the Twin Cities chapter has stocked well over 20,000 muskies.
Funds raised by the chapter have also provided equipment for DNR hatcheries, food for muskie fry, as well as pit tags, floy tags and tag readers for DNR studies. Chapter volunteers have helped with spring egg take, harvesting muskie ponds and stocking fingerlings and yearlings in the lakes.
In the spring of 2020, because of the covid pandemic, the Minnesota DNR decided not to do egg takes of any species to raise fry for stocking. With the help of Muskies, Inc. chapters state-wide and many private donations, we were able to purchase fingerlings (11.5-inch average) that had been over-wintered at a private muskie farm.
In June they were placed in three ponds at the MN DNR fish hatchery in Waterville. By October they had grown to 17-plus inches and were harvested and stocked in lakes throughout Minnesota including Minnetonka. Many were PIT tagged to gather information for further DNR studies. In total 1,959 muskie yearlings were stocked in a year that started out with no stocking forecast at all.
The Twin Cities chapter holds three fundraisers – a banquet and two muskie tournaments – each year to fund stocking and other projects that support the muskie fishery.
The cost of a muskie fingerling starting from eggs taken in the spring and raised to stocking size in the fall averages $15 each. To supplement DNR quotas not met can cost thousands of dollars each year.
We appreciate any donations toward that goal. Contribute to our stocking and project fund.