Muskellunge

Muskellunge

World Record: 67 lbs 8oz
Lake Court Oreilles, WI
July 24th 1949
Length: 20-60 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Cool Waters 24C

Identification

Also known as “Muskie’s” they have a long, moderately laterally compressed body with a long head and snout and a large mouth. The dorsal and anal fins are located at the end of the body near the tail. Their body color is generally dark markings on a light background: the back, head and upper sides are iridescent green-gold to light brown. The sides range from green, green-gold to brownish, to grey or silvery. The head is marked with spots or by several dark bars radiating from the eyes; the underside and under the head is cream to milk-white with small brown to grey spots or blotches. The fins are greenish or buff to red-brown with dark blotches, which are more prominent on the unpaired fins.

Habitat

Muskellunge are found in lakes land large rivers. They prefer clear waters where they lurk along weed edges, rock outcrops or other structures to rest. A fish forms two distinct home ranges in summer: a shallow range and a deeper one. The shallow range is generally much smaller than the deeper range due to shallow water heating up. A muskie will continually patrol the ranges in search of available food.

Diet

Muskies prey upon anything that fits in the mouth. Most of their diet consists of fish but it also includes crayfish, frogs, ducklings, snakes, muskrats, mice, other small mammals, and small birds. The mouth is large with many long, needle-like teeth. Muskies will attempt to take their prey headfirst, sometimes in a single gulp. They will take prey items that are up to 30% of their total length.