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Evergreen Lake: 123 muskies rescued (details added)

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A rescue below Evergreen Lake on Wednesday produced 123 muskies, among a batch of other notable fish.

Spillway Recovery 2009 019-2

Mike Steffa sent this account:

The IDNR and COMLARA Park Staff conducted a muskie rescue below the Evergreen Lake Spillway yesterday. Here are the results:

123 Muskies - 14 had PIT tags

6 Saugeye

2 Northern Pike

1 Largemouth Bass

1 Hybrid Striper

1 Flathead Catfish (Est. weight @ 40 lbs.)

District fisheries biologist Mike Garthaus added this:
We recovered 123 muskie. Of the 123 collected, 14 were tagged from spring netting surveys. We tagged muskie from 2002 to 2005 and in 2007. We recovered at least one tagged muskie from each year we tagged fish. The majority of the tagged fish were males. We only recorded length and weight for tagged muskie and the largest tagged muskie was 44". We had 4 tagged muskie that were 40" and above. All fish were in great condition. The average relative weight for the tagged muskie was 99.

It was a hot day and everybody that helped needs a pat on the back. Mike Warnick took the lead for the IDNR part as I needed to stock fish at Lake Bloomington during part of the recovery. I came back and found out that Mike W went toe to toe with a muskie and came out bloody. We are hoping he does not lose a finger. You never know what type of diseases those slimy things have.

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Why did the fish need rescuing and why were there so many muskie and so few other species?

Mark, muskie tend to go over spillways of impoundments alot. They are attracted to flowing water, and just go right over.
They need to be rescued because the small creek environment below the spillway is not conducive to their survival, and they are an investment put into the fishery from whence they came.
The same "rescue" operation takes place at multiple impoundments around the state.
Without a doubt, some that go over the spillway eventually make it downstream throught the smaller creek systems and wind up in our bigger rivers, but the objective is to keep the investment in the lake system, and prevent them from perishing in the creeks.

Thanks for the info! Flowing water and current seem to be a key component in fishing for big fish.

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