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  • Esocid Stocking: An Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review

  • Esocid Stocking: An Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review

    S. J. Kerr and T. A. LasenbyFisheries SectionFish and Wildlife BranchOntario Ministry of Natural Resources

    March 2001

  • This publication should be cited as follows: Kerr, S. J. and T. A. Lasenby. 2001. Esocid stocking: An annotatedbibliography and literature review. Fish and Wildlife Branch, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

    Peterborough, Ontario. 138 p. + appendices.

    Printed in Ontario, Canada(0.3 k P. R. 01 31 03)

    MNR 51489ISBN 0-7794-0809-8

    Copies of this publication are available from:

    Fish and Wildlife BranchOntario Ministry of Natural Resources

    P. O. Box 7000300 Water Street, Peterborough

    Ontario. K9J 8M5

    Cette publication spcialise n'est disponible qu'en anglais

    Cover drawing by Ruth E. Grant, Brockville, Ontario.

  • PrefaceThis bibliography and literature review is the seventh in a set of reference documents developedin conjunction with a review of fish stocking policies and guidelines in the Province of Ontario. It has been prepared to summarize information pertaining to the current state of knowledgeregarding esocids (northern pike and muskellunge) in a form which can readily be utilized byfield staff and stocking proponents.

    Material cited in this bibliography includes papers published in scientific journals, magazinesand periodicals as well as gray literature such as file reports from Ministry of NaturalResources (MNR) field offices. Unpublished literature was obtained by soliciting information(i.e., unpublished data and file reports) from field biologists from across Ontario. Mostpublished information was obtained from a literature search at the MNR corporate library inPeterborough. Twenty-one major fisheries journals were reviewed as part of this exercise. These included Aquaculture (1972-1998), California Fish and Game (1917-2000), Copeia (1913-2000), Environmental Biology of Fishes (1976-2000), Fishery Bulletin (1963-2000), FisheriesManagement (1975-1984), Journal of Freshwater Ecology (1981-2000), New York Fish andGame Journal (1954-1985), North American Journal of Fisheries Management (1981-2000),Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada/Canadian Journal of Fisheries and AquaticSciences (1950-2000), Progressive Fish Culturist (1940-2000), and Transactions of the AmericanFisheries Society (1929-2000). Searches were also made of other publications includingProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Fish and WildlifeAgencies, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Association of Fish and WildlifeAgencies, Transactions of the North American Fish and Wildlife Conference, Transactions of theMidwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, United States Department of the Interior FisheriesTechnical Papers, FAO Fisheries Technical Papers and Circulars, and reports published underthe Canadian Technical Report Series of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Some material wasobtained by a search on the Fish and Fisheries Worldwide database (1971-2000) via the Internet.

    Information from over 370 sources has been assembled. Abstracts from published papers havebeen included wherever possible. In cases where abstracts were not available, an attempt hasbeen made to extract pertinent material from the document to provide a synopsis of the findings.In some cases, we were unable to obtain a copy of the document but have simply included thecitation. Some unpublished data has been included but has not been cited.

    (i)

  • Table of Contents

    Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(i)

    Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(ii)

    History of Esocid Stocking in Ontario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

    Synthesis of Selected Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

    Annotated Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

    Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129

    Subject Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

    Subject Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133

    Appendix 1. Muskellunge stocking in Ontario waters, 1925-2000.

    Appendix 2. Muskellunge transfers in Ontario waters.

    Appendix 3. Ontario lakes containing introduced muskellunge populations.

    (ii)

  • Esocid Stocking: An Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review

    History of Esocid Stocking in Ontario WatersAlthough muskellunge propagation in Canada dates back to 1877 (MacCrimmon et al. 1974),muskellunge culture and stocking in Ontario was first reported in 1927. Between 1927 and 1937 these early efforts were conducted at a temporary (portable) facility situated on the Pigeon River at Omemee, Ontario (Buie 1960, Tripp 1965). A second temporary facility, situated on the Scugog River at Sturgeon Lake was operated in 1929. In 1934, these efforts were supplemented by a collection of muskellunge eggs from Beaver Creek, Crowe Lake (Hastings County) whichwere reared at the Belleville fish hatchery.

    The Deer Lake fish culture station, a pond station with a surface water supply situated near Havelock, Ontario, was constructed in 1938. This facility was the predominant source of hatchery-reared muskellunge from that point until the facility was closed in 1990.

    Muskellunge reared at the Deer Lake facility originated from eggs collected from wild stocksprimarily from Stony Lake, Buckhorn Lake (Deer Bay) and the Crowe River. Annual egg collections ranged from 1.80 to 6.26 million eggs (Table 1).

    Table 1. Muskellunge egg collections for the Deer Lake fish culture station, 1948-1985.

    Number of Muskellunge Eggs CollectedYear Stony Lake Buckhorn Lake (Deer Bay) Crowe River Total Eggs Collected

    1948 - - - 5,285,0001949 - - - 4,660,0001950 - - - 4,645,0001951 - - - 5,060,0001952 - - - 5,545,0001953 - - - 4,350,0001954 - - - 4,960,0001955 - - - 5,580,0001956 - - - 6,260,0001957 - - - 4,400,0001958 - - - 4,350,0001959 - - - 5,470,0001960 - - - 3,960,0001961 - - - 4,260,0001962 2,430,000 2,730,000 90,000 5,250,0001963 2,100,000 1,470,000 190,000 3,760,0001964 1,770,000 1,230,000 30,000 3,030,0001965 2,430,000 1,230,000 - 3,660,0001966 1,830,000 700,000 - 2,530,0001967 2,400,000 1,920,000 - 4,320,0001968 2,950,000 1,610,000 - 4,560,0001969 3,180,000 1,680,000 - 4,860,0001970 4,080,000 - - 4,080,0001971 3,740,000 - - 3,740,0001972 4,050,000 - - 4,050,0001973 1,800,000 - - 1,800,0001974 3,180,000 - - 3,180,0001975 3,000,000 - - 3,000,0001976 3,282,000 - - 3,282,0001977 2,821,500 - - 2,821,5001978 2,920,500 - - 2,920,5001979 2,983,500 - - 2,983,5001980 2,404,800 - - 2,404,8001981 2,100,000 - - 2,100,0001982 2,481,500 - - 2,481,5001983 2,707,500 - - 2,707,5001984 2,707,500 - - 2,707,5001985 3,477,000 - - 3,477,000

    1

    History of Esocid Stocking in Ontario Waters

  • 2

    History of Esocid Stocking in Ontario Waters

    Muskellunge fingerlings were reared at the Skeleton Lake fish culture station, near Utterson, Ontario, for the first time in 1953. Fry were transferred from the Deer Lake facility and 10,000 were reared to the fingerling stage and stocked.

    The annual muskellunge culture program commenced in mid April when several pound nets were set in Stony Lake at water temperatures in the 7 C range. When temperatures neared 10 Cmuskellunge typically moved toward spawning areas where they were captured and, if mature and ripe, artificially spawned. Fertilized eggs were water hardened on site and subsequentlytransferred to the Deer Lake facility. Eggs were incubated in upwelling bell jars loaded withapproximately 2 liters (~ 100,000) of eggs. Hatching typically occurred in 16 days at watertemperatures in the 10-12 C range. At the first signs of hatch, eggs were transferred to pails, in lots of 10,000 per pail, and the small (1 C) increase in temperature ensured a complete hatch. Annual hatching success between 1973 and 1986 averaged 53% (Harris 1987). The hatched fry were transferred to trays and swim-up typically occurred in 1-2 weeks. Most fish were stocked as swim-up fry but a small number (e.g., 250-300,000) were retained for fingerling production. These fish were then transferred to ponds which had been fertilized with soybean meal to promote a zooplankton bloom which would provide a food source for the small fish. Once the fry reached sizes of 2-3 cm, their diet changed to fish and they were initially (first 2-3 days) fed sucker fry and, subsequently, minnow fry. This phase was quite labor intensive as a sufficient quantity of minnows needed to be harvested from nearby lakes (Rice, Pigeon and Buckhorn) and fed to the muskellunge on a daily basis. At Deer Lake, muskellunge grew at the rate of 2 cm per week and by early July they had reached approximately 10-12 cm in length and were stocked at8-10 weeks of age.

    Many problems were encountered in muskellunge propagation. These included predation (by aquatic insects, snakes birds and other fish), cannibalism, starvation (from poor zooplanktonproduction or lack of suitable forage), parasitism and bacterial infec