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Muskie Fishing

Muskie fish

Elongated body and head with tooth-filled mouth shaped like a duck bill; coloration varies but typically dark vertical bar markings on green or brown background. Illustration by Tim Knepp/USFWS.

Overview

Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy; hereafter referred to as Muskies) are native to Canada and the United States including the Great Lakes, upper Mississippi River and Ohio River drainages. Muskies were native to Indiana’s tributary rivers connected to the Ohio River, but habitat changes nearly eliminated all natural populations. Efforts to re-establish Muskies began in 1974. Today, thirteen Muskie populations in Indiana are maintained by stocking hatchery raised fish.

Muskies are some of the largest fish in Indiana and anglers usually release the Muskies they catch, prizing them more for their trophy-size and challenge to catch rather than edibility. Although growth of older male Muskies is slow and few ever reach 44 inches, females typically reach 36 inches at age-7 and 44 inches at age-12. Under the right conditions, female Muskies can grow longer than 50 inches, weigh over 40 pounds, and live more than 20 years. The Indiana state record was caught in 2002 at James Lake (Kosciusko Co.) and weighed 42 pounds, 8 ounces.

Stocking completed in 2018

Waterbody County Resource Acres N/Acre N stocked 1 Initial Year Regulation
Barbee Lakes Chain Kosciusko Glacial Lake 850 5 4250 1998 Standard
Bass Sullivan Excavated Lake 222 5 666 1997 Standard
Bluegrass Warrick Excavated Lake 195 5 975 2006 Standard
Brookville Franklin/Union Impoundment 5260 1 11301 1974 Standard
Bruce Pulaski Glacial Lake 245 5 490 2000 Standard
Duck Sullivan Excavated Lake 59 5 295 2008 Standard
Eagle Creek Marion Impoundment 1350 1 1350 2011 Standard
Everett Allen Glacial Lake 43 5 215 2010 Standard
Loon Pit Warrick Excavated Lake 184 5 920 2006 Standard
Plover/Sandpiper Bartholomew Excavated Lake 84 5 420 1997 Standard
Skinner Noble Glacial Lake 125 5 625 1986 Standard
Tippecanoe Chain Kosciusko Glacial Lake 1133 1 1133 1997 Standard
Webster 2 Kosciusko Glacial Lake 774 4 1825 1981 44-inch
DFW Subtotal - - 10,524 - 24,465 - -
Loon 3 Noble/Whitley Glacial Lake 222 1 400 1978 Standard
Upper Long 3 Noble Glacial Lake 86 2 200 1996 Standard
Statewide Total - - 10,832   25,065    

1 Current stocking rate.

2 Includes 1553 age-0 fingerlings and 272 age-1 fingerlings.

3 Permitted public stockings.

Regulations

Species Daily Bag Limit Minimum Size
Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge 1 singly 36 inches 1

1 44-inch minimum size at Backwater, Kiser and Webster lakes (Kosciusko County).

Surveys of the best lakes for Muskie fishing

Map of muskie lakes

Select link for survey report.

  1. Bruce Lake (PDF)
  2. Tippecanoe chain (PDF)
  3. Skinner Lake (PDF)
  4. Webster Lake (PDF)
  5. Everett Lake (PDF)
  6. Loon Lake (PDF)
  7. Upper Long Lake (PDF)
  8. Barbee Lakes chain (PDF)
  9. Sandpiper/Plover Pits (PDF)
  10. Brookville Lake (PDF)
  11. Bass (PDF) and Duck (PDF) lakes
  12. Bluegrass (PDF) and Loon (PDF) pits