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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