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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just been thinking a bit about the large number of 24-30" musky that I and alot of other have reported seeing this season. I don't remember seeing that many all at once like this. Could it be that the lake was at capacity, or a bottleneck was happening, and a die off was needed? Just think of what happens to forests after a forest fire hits an area. The folks in the know say they are needed to have regeneration to keep the forests healthy. Maybe the prime spawning area was at it's carrying capacity and the fewer number of musky allowed the remaining ones to all spread out and spawn more effectively, with higher survival rates....again, i'm just guessing, but I'll bet there is some truth to it...Thoughts?
 

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Jon, quite possible thought, nature does take care of it's own. Kind of a survival of the fittest, sort of thing.
VHS may have weeded out some of the weaker fish(the stronger may not have been infected or effected as much).
If the lake was over-populated the surviving stronger fish could produce more strong fish, ultimately, years down the road leading to a healthier group of fish.
If that is the case, it could be that VHS was somewhat of a blesssing in disguise.
 

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I do believe you are on to something.
 

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Absolutely Jon; it's how nature works. VHS was going to happen; that had nothing to do with the system carrying it's capacity. It just was. VHS thinned the herd, so to speak. Had the muskie population been lower, the same percentage of fish would've still died, but the numbers would've been smaller and you would't have noticed it. And if it wasn't VHS that thinned populations, it'd be an algae bloom, or something to affect muskies' food source....something. Nature always equalizes itself.

And yes, speaking as a former wildland firefighter, forest fires are a very good thing....when they're kept in the forest. They start burning down houses, and they're not so good. I could go on and on about everything that's dependant on forest fires. There's species of pine that only drop seeds when forest fires bring the temps up enough to litterally boil the sap in their cones so they explode and spread seeds.
 

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mother natuyre is fickle. our problems have been created by ballast dumping. . while we do recover from decent spawns our challenges are to culture the little muskies. it will take years to achieve 50 inch fish once again.. vhs can hit again. jons correct as everyone else that has seen gangs of teenies patrolling and hitting anything. enjoy it folks. through good releases, and concerns we have the greatest muskie fishery on earth.. years back i remember the bad days. you were a hero if as a charter capt. you achieved 50 fish a season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll add this......just think of how many millions of fish are born every year in St.Clair, of all species....how many million have to die to make room for those ones? Millions of fish die that we never even see.
 

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Could have some validity.

Hope Schram doesn't see this comment of might take years to get back to the 50in. fish. Might change his hat from pink to blue.
 

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QUOTE(walleye mike @ Jun 28 2009, 08:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hope Schram doesn't see this comment of might take years to get back to the 50in. fish. Might change his hat from pink to blue.


Hope Schram doesn't see the comment that even possibly eluded to the thought that the lake was/is being overpopulated with large spawning muskies...


You better watch out Jon, he's got some peeps you know...
 

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While I'm not sure what if anything Schram has/had to do with VHS, the whole point of the thread is interesting.
So many animals die of natural causes and disease that we never see or know about. Think about the wildlife in your backyard, how many birds, squirrels, and other critters die and are never found by us humans.
VHS or the actual cause of it, is not a natural occurance, but the question remains, how many of the weaker fish affected by the virus would have died from other causes?
Sure there are many that die as part of a natural food chain, many more may never make it past the egg stage, of those that do hatch, how many of those will live to full maturity?
It would be interesting to hear a response from Mike Thomas or someone else with a background in marine biology.
 

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I think the lake was over populated with Muskie. When you can troll for a day and land 30 muskie or so. I believe there are to many fish. Being the top of the line preditor there are and should be the lesser of the population. I still think the die off was part of Mother Nature doing her thing. If you get too many Muskie in years to come there will be no 50 inchers just like a Deer herd runting itself over the years.

I don't know where I read it and I should have saved it but didn't that a lake with Muskie and no Pike has Muskie that rarely get over 40 inches. With Pike the can go to 60 inches or better. Go Figure. I believe that Pike and Dragon Flys are the biggest preditors on Muskie fry. As Mike about that.
 

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Over population causes a bigger percentage of fish die off because infected fish come into contact with more fish to spread the virsuses. As history shows, small populations are not effected by virsuses as bad and goes un- noticed by most until a population gets out of hand than with the increased amount of contact between fish, more die, just like the flu for us. I don't know if any of you notice, but musky seem to come into more physical contact with each other more than any other fish in our system, and if any fish is going to be effected by a virsus, its the musky.
 

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Agree. When you look at it like as if VHS got rid of a lot of the weaker and sicker Musky to make room for a whole new batch of Musky, it really really makes sense, to me.

And who knows, maybe this NEW batch of Musky have evolved into a more hardy Musky to handle more fishing pressure.....maybe they WILL get a bit bigger...the list goes on really. It's hard to question Mother Nature, but whatever she does, we know it's for the better of all species associated with the change (usually).
 

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I do believe this has been discussed before and it always seems to come down to the same opinions that too many fish are bad for the population as well. Everyone will agree and say that VHS was most likely good and this is natures way of balancing things out. But as soon as someone says they kept a fish or held a fish incorrectly they are the bad guy. Seems to me that someone keeping a fish from time to time is no different than what we are speaking about here. I think the last time it was discussed I had mentioned this in relation to like quality deer management. At some point the herd needs to be thinned just like Bob mentioned in his post. I don't want to start the debate all over again, but when the lake is full of stunted musky maybe the thought process will change....
 
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