Cooperative Research Units
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Determining the efficacy of genetic broodstock management of muskellunge in Wisconsin

Muskie in Fyke Net


January 2012 - June 2014


In Wisconsin, muskellunge Esox masquinongy have been propagated for over 70 years as part of a comprehensive management plan to provide angling opportunities and develop trophy fisheries. However, more recently concerns exist regarding the genetic integrity and long-term viability of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNR) propagation program. To address these concerns, starting in 2005, the WDNR muskellunge propagation program underwent a series of strategic modifications aimed at protecting the contemporary genetic integrity of populations and ensuring the long-term sustainability of muskellunge. Following implementation a critical evaluation to determine how successful these new genetic broodstock guidelines have been at maintaining genetic diversity and effective population size (Ne) of stocked muskellunge is critical. Additionally, from a conservation genetics standpoint, it is critical to identify at what life stages, if any, bottlenecks in genetic diversity are occurring.

Research Products and Activities


  • Woiak, Z., B.L. Sloss, J.A. VanDeHey, and M.J. Jennings. February 2013. Genetic diversity of hatchery-reared muskellunge: impacts of propagation practices. Wisconsin Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. Rothschild, Wisconsin.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 7

Phd Students: 0

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 13

Scientific Publications: 22

Presentations: 87



Funding Agencies

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey
  2. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  3. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources