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Muskellunge were native to Ohio waters and were found to be abundant as early as 1810, and were still considered economically important as a commercial fishery as late as 1930. After 1930, muskellunge populations declined significantly, particularly in the Lake Erie drainage area, as a result of urbanization, blocking of migration routes to spawning areas by dams, and from draining vast marshlands they spawned in for agriculture. Stream populations were severely limited by pollution, channelization, and siltation of spawning habitat. This species was hardly known to modern-day anglers until the Ohio Division of Wildlife began its artificial propagation program in 1952.

In 1953, 10,000 fry were stocked in Rocky Fork Lake and 2,265 fingerlings were stocked in nine selected lakes and streams, inaugurating a new muskie era for Ohio. Since then, the Ohio Division of Wildlife has greatly expanded its propagation and stocking program. During 1982, the Division of Wildlife redirected its efforts to the production of 8-inch to 10-inch fish, because ongoing research demonstrated that they survived better than 3-inch to 6-inch fish.

Today, the Ohio Division of Wildlife Muskellunge program is aimed at producing trophy angling opportunities through put-grow-take stockings. There are eight Ohio impoundments annually stocked with advanced fingerlings (9-11 inches) at about 1 fish per acre; Alum Creek, Caesar Creek Lake, Clear Fork Reservoir, East Fork Reservoir, Lake Milton, Leesville Lake, West Branch Reservoir, Piedmont Lake, and Salt Fork Lake. During 2007, over 19,500 muskie averaging 10 inches in length were stocked in Ohio lakes and reservoirs.

In selecting lakes for stocking, emphasis is placed upon keeping a relatively even distribution of lakes throughout the state so that all Ohioans can enjoy these fisheries. Water quality, habitat, forage base, and angler access are also important considerations.

Most Ohio muskies are caught during April through October when the water temperature is 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the lakes listed above, muskie can also be found in Milton and Pymatuning Lakes; Berlin Lake has a low density muskie population which is maintained by natural reproduction. Good muskellunge streams include Paint Creek, Grand River, Sunfish Creek, Little Muskingum River, Rocky Fork Creek, Salt Creek, Wills Creek, and the Mahoning River. Ohio has no length limit on muskie, and one muskie per day may be harvested.

In order to obtain needed information on the annual muskellunge catch and harvest, the Ohio Division of Wildlife formed the Ohio Huskie Muskie Club (OHMC) during 1961. The club provides the Ohio Division of Wildlife with statewide information on muskellunge catch and harvest and also works to foster and promote sport fishing for muskellunge. OHMC has proven to be an excellent vehicle for obtaining information which is valuable in evaluating fish management activities and planning for the future. In addition: the State now supports five active chapters of Muskies, Inc..

Opportunities for catching muskies are better in Ohio today than ever before: Ohio ranks high among the states each year in total catch of muskellunge, and for the past several years has been among the leaders in size taken.