Muskie stocking could be prohibited in Otter Tail Lakes

Muskie stocking could be prohibited in Otter Tail Lakes Click to Enlarge

(KBRF) - For the past several years, there has been considerable controversy surrounding the DNR’s muskie stocking program. Last September, based on the concerns of Otter Tail County residents, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution requesting the DNR temporarily halt the stocking of muskie in Otter Tail County lakes until additional scientific evidence can be gathered.

The DNR says science is on their side, and that sunnies, crappies, and walleyes would co-exist without issue. County Commissioner Wayne Johnson says to date, he and the other Commissioners have not received answers to the questions they’ve asked.

"They [the DNR] show me charts and graphs and say there's no impact, and yet the charts and graphs say something else to me and others," he explained in an interview with KBRF.

The Minnesota Legislature has introduced bills in the House and Senate that temporarily prohibit the DNR from stocking muskellunge in Otter Tail County Lakes. The bill would also appropriate $50,000 in fiscal year 2019 from the game and fish fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to study the effect of muskie stocking on the environment, waters, and native fish of Otter Tail County.

The proposed legislation contains a proposed state-wide prohibition on muskie being stocked in any Minnesota lakes not currently being stocked with the species.

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