Wisconsin State Fish
Muskellunge (common name)
Esox masquinongy (scientific name)
The muskellunge looks and behaves like a huge northern pike. It has an elongated body, a flat head, and its fins are set far back in its body. Muskellunge are light silver, brown, or green in color with dark vertical stripes or spots on the sides and white bellies. Females are longer and heavier than males. "Muskies" are highly prized by Midwestern anglers for their massive size, the difficulty of catching them, and their fighting ability. To feed, they lurk behind shaded spots or in weed beds and then explode forward to grab passing prey, which they then swallow whole. The muskellunge was designated the official fish of Wisconsin in 1955.
Length: Up to 59 in (150 cm); average of 36 in (90 cm)
Weight: Up to 69.6 lbs (32 kg); average of 10 lbs (4.4 kg)
Up to 30 years
Clear, deep lakes and large, slow-moving rivers along weed edges, sand bars, or rock outcroppings. In summer, muskies have both a shallow habitat and a deeper one.
Range: The Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada from Manitoba and North Dakota in the west to Ontario and upstate New York in the east.
Water type: Freshwater
Water temp: 33-78°F (0-23°C)
Conservation Status: Least concern
Fish (including other muskellunge), frogs, crayfish, and occasionally young mice, shrews, muskrats, and ducklings.
Spawning frequency: Mid-April to mid-June
Mating behavior: Distinct pairing
Egg laying: The female will swim along the shoreline with one or two males following nearby. The eggs are scattered at random over weedy lake or river bottoms and fertilized by the male(s). Adults do not guard the eggs or young.
Muskie, lunge, maskinonge, great pike, leopard muskellunge
Click to enlarge an image
Raw Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Author: World Trade Press