Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The majestic Muskellunge is the largest member of the Pike family and can be found in North America, most notably in the Great Lakes area. This huge toothy animal is the state fish of Wisconsin, and it is there that the largest Musky was caught, weighing in at 69lbs, 11oz.
Esox masquinongy

Muskies are stealthy, solitary predators. They lurk about, almost motionless, and then strike at passing prey. They them impale the creature on their sharp pointy teeth, before turning them and swallowing. Interestingly, a Muskellunge is only able to grow to a size that reflects the size of available prey. If it lives in a location with other large fish, it can grow much longer than a Musky in an area with only very small fish to eat.

Muskellunge will eat just about anything. Ducks, rats, frogs, fish, even other, smaller muskies. Adult Muskellunge are preyed upon by large birds of prey and humans. Speaking of people, these fish are very desirable to fishermen. This is due to their large size, their elusive nature, and the overall challenge in trying to catch and reel one in.

There are a handful of Musky subspecies, and there are also hybrids like the Tiger Muskellunge, which are the byproduct of spawning between Muskellunge and Northern Pike. These sterile fish are sometimes stocked in bodies of water for sport fishing purposes.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North America
Size : Length up to 5ft (1.5m), Weight up to 65lbs (30kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Esociformes
Family : Esocidae -- Genus : Esox -- Species : E. masquinongy

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