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Common Fish Species of Northwestern Ontario

MAMMALS

BIRDS

REPTILES

INSECTS

   
Esox masquinongy
Muskellunge
"Muskie"

Muskellunge

Description

Distinguishing Features - The muskellunge has a long and slender body with eyes placed high on its head. It has either spots or dark vertical bars on a light colored background. The tail fin is forked with pointed lobes. Scales cover upper half of cheek and gill covers.

Size - Average Weight - 2.5 - 4.5 kg (5 - 10 lb) but specimens over 20 kg (40 lb) are frequently caught. The Ontario record is 29.5 kg (65 lbs)

Habitat

Found throughout NW Ontario in shallow weedbeds in early summer and near drop-offs towards fall. A voracious predator, the "Muskie" lurks among weeds/fallen logs and tends to feed primarily in the evening hours. Spawning occurs in the spring after ice break-up, along marshy shorelines.

Notes

The muskellunge is legendary for its is a great fighting spirit. Although the main diet consists of fish, like its cousin, the northern pike, it will also feed on frogs, crayfish, mice and ducklings.


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