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For the Anglers out there..

by Rolway / September 30, 2005 12:34 PM PDT
A fish story: Giant muskies could push restoration


By Matt Crawford
Free Press Staff Writer

Muskellunge are such uncommon fish in the Lake Champlain basin that Vermont fisheries biologists have bandied about the idea of placing them on the state's list of threatened and endangered species.

But in the last six weeks, two anglers have landed mammoth muskies in tributaries of the lake, catches that are breathing life into a plan that could someday restore the muskie to its place atop the Lake Champlain food chain.

The latest monster muskie was taken Friday evening by 39-year-old Chris Beebe of Swanton, who caught a 38.22-pounder in the lower Missisquoi River. Beebe's fish smashed the just-established state-record mark of 30.65 pounds caught by Vergennes' Bob Lemieux in Otter Creek on Aug. 5.

''These two catches in the last five weeks certainly confirm to us that we're still capable of supporting and growing a muskie population in the Lake Champlain basin,'' said biologist Shawn Good, who chairs the state's muskie team. ''This is proof that the fish still exist and can do well here.''

Muskies, members of the pike family, are native to Lake Champlain. Populations of the big, toothy fish seemed to have plummeted over the last 30 years, because of a loss of habitat and other changes in the rivers that empty in Lake Champlain. In 2003, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department established a team of biologists to work on a ''muskie team,'' a group that is working with more urgency to design the best way to restore a fish highly prized by anglers.

Beebe, 39, was fishing with his father David and 9-year-old son Alex on Friday. He was using a live frog, ''fishing for basically anything,'' when the giant muskie struck.

''He hit right near the boat,'' Beebe said.

After a 20-minute battle, in which the Beebes discussed taking the boat ashore in an attempt to make landing the big fish easier, the muskie was netted. It was eventually weighed on a certified scale at Bob's Meat Market in St. Albans -- the only scale the anglers could find that was big enough to handle the fish.

Stephen Demar of Swanton caught a 29-pound, 8-ounce muskie in the Missisquoi in 1978; that record stood for 27 years before Lemieux bested it in August. Lemieux held the record for just 35 days.

''The shortest held state record in history,'' Good said.

Lemieux's fish (at 48 inches) and Beebe's (at 52 1/4 inches) were both well in excess of the 30-inch length limit that exists in Vermont. Good called Vermont's regulation ''archaic,'' saying it does little to protect muskie of spawning size. He said the muskie team is considering raising the length limit on muskies or making all muskie fishing in Vermont ''catch-and-release,'' meaning anglers could not keep any muskies caught.

''I'd support that,'' said Beebe, who is having his fish mounted. ''They are such an awesome fish, I think we should do whatever we can to bring these fish back in Vermont.''

The muskie team is likely to propose changes to regulations as early as this autumn.

''We have a chance to do something with a fish that commands so much respect, so much admiration,'' Good said. ''They are really the top predators in the food chain in a freshwater system. Whatever they want to eat, they will eat. You have to respect a fish like that.''
Contact Matt Crawford at 651-4852 or mcrawfor@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

Heres the link:
www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050913/NEWS02/509130331/1007

George
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just a FYI
by jonah jones / September 30, 2005 3:32 PM PDT

the idea of posting a link is nice, for four reasons:
1. it allows you to go to the site in question and read the full article....

2. it allows you you to post a short (3-5 sentences) precis of the article and therefore you don't open CNet up to a possible infringement of copyright case

3. you will often find articles to be read that you might not normally see...

4. and lastly..... it will stop someone like me from going to a site just to see that YOU POSTED THE WHOLE %$^$% ARTICLE GEORGE!!


.

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I Hear ya Jonah, FYI
by Rolway / October 1, 2005 12:36 AM PDT
In reply to: just a FYI

1. If CNet did'nt filter out the word ''free'' in the url, I would not have pasted the whole %$*$% article.

2. I know about the copyright infringements and that was the only way I knew how to work around it from what I was told. Thought it would save you from copying and pasting the url to get the whole story.

3. I will surely warn you next time, that this is it, the whole %$*$% story, unless you have a better idea. Happy

George

PS. Thanks for the tip and your interest in the post. Have a nice weekend. Happy

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Enjoyable article, George
by MarciaB / October 1, 2005 12:51 AM PDT

I'm an angler, although not for anything such as these critters! Would love to have the chance to hook on to one, however, and engage in the challenge of landing it Happy

I had not heard anything about this exciting sport-fish for some time, so had to look up a place to get a picture in my mind again of what it looks like. Truly is not a "beauty" by fish standards, but is near the top of its class in menacing power.
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/fish/musky.htm

Thanks for the post, and in the meantime I will have to stick with the Rainbows, Brookies and Browns that we have in our local waterways that I enjoy catching.

Have a nice weekend,
--Marcia

.

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Hi Marcia...
by Rolway / October 1, 2005 2:33 AM PDT

Thanks for the Photo. Those Muskies are tough critters alright. Glad you like fishing. I used to go a lot when the boys were growing up, but have'nt been for a long time now. Used to get Salmon out of Sebago Lake in ME. Nice up there.

That Lake Champlain around St. Abans, VT is beautiful. Spent a lot of time up there in St. Albans years past. As well as Newport, Island Pond and just over the line at the good old Del Bar Puke & Spit in Rock Island Can. Granddaughter Lives just north of St. Albans. Daughter lives over by Jay Peak. Great country. Love it up there. (in the summer) Both those lakes, Champlain & Sebago can get pretty hairy when a storm comes up. If a dark cloud approachs, head for shore.

Gotta rest up. Those Hillbillies up there will all be crashing in on me next weekend and I'm gonna spoil those GGrand kids rotten. Happy

Have a good day & its Red Sox time.

George

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