Alarming muskie decline in the St. Lawrence River: Invasive fish species, virus could be contributing

Alarming muskie decline in the St. Lawrence River: Invasive fish species, virus could be contributing
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The St. Lawrence River’s muskie fishery has taken a few hits for more than a decade and the numbers of this celebrated fish in the river show continual signs of dropping, U.S. and Canadian researchers said.

Among the likely reasons is the presence in the river of round gobies, an invasive bait fish, which some researchers say are possibly gobbling up muskie eggs on the fish’s numerous spawning grounds on the river.

The decrease in muskie in the river, reflected in the fish being caught by anglers, along with those being seen by U.S. and Canadian researchers in their annual netting surveys in known spawning areas, has created concern on both sides of the river.

“This is like having the New York Yankees disappear from baseball,” Ottawa muskie guide John Anderson told Ottawa.Citizen.com this spring. “This is the greatest fish franchise in history. Those are the biggest, baddest muskies on the planet.”

Andy Skop holds up a 55-inch muskie he caught on the St. Lawrence River in…

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