Tracking Muskellunge in the St. Louis River Estuary

2016-2018 Biennial Request for Proposal Project

University of Minnesota graduate student Erin Schaeffer holds a muskellunge during her research on the St. Louis River Estuary. Image credit: Erin Schaeffer.

  • Are Muskellunge (Muskies) in the St. Louis River Estuary occupying restored habitats?
  • Are they using Lake Superior?

Researchers aim to better understand the movement patterns and habitat use of Muskies in the estuary through stationary acoustic receivers and mobile tracking. The researchers will also conduct genetic analyses to determine if fish from two stocked strains show different tendencies. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources set restoration targets for Muskies in the estuary. This research will help refine population estimates and complement the state's spring survey. It will also identify critical areas for Muskies, a culturally, economically and ecologically important game fish.

Lead scientist(s)

Paul Venturelli

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
(612) 624-4228

Scholarly Articles

  • Schaeffer, E. M., Pinkerton, J. J., Venturelli, P. A., & Miller, L. M. (2020). Muskellunge spatial ecology in the St. Louis River estuary and Southwestern Lake Superior. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.