Webster Lake Muskie PIT Tag Study
Webster Lake produces Indiana’s muskie broodstock. Eggs and milt are collected in the spring. Fish are raised in DNR’s state hatcheries and stocked into all Indiana muskie lakes in the fall.
Indiana DNR fisheries biologists are using PIT tags to study and learn more about muskies in Webster Lake. Tagging muskies in Webster Lake started in 2005 and has been a vital part in learning more about growth rates, survival, and movement.
What fisheries biologists have learned:
- The growth of male muskies slows significantly once they reach 36 inches in length. Although we have some males that reach more than 40 inches, chances are the larger fish are mostly females.
- Muskies move back and forth between Backwater and Webster lakes.
- The oldest fish we have collected is 18 years old. The fish was collected in 2005, and its age was determined to be 4 years old. He was collected again in 2019.
Current ongoing studies
- Fisheries biologists are studying survival rates between fall and spring stockings. All fish starting in 2016 have been tagged at the hatchery before stocking. The DNR will use this information to ensure the best stocking strategies are being used.
- In 2019, every fish was measured during tagging. DNR will examine the growth rates of muskie throughout the years using this information.
- Currently ONLY Webster Lake muskies are being tagged. Biologists will use the information gained from this lake’s study and apply it to other muskie lakes in Indiana.