Jump to content

Otisco Lake Tiger Musky Tagging Study

Recommended Posts


Central New York Muskies Inc. Chapter 70 has been working with the NYSDEC and recently obtained a license for a tagging study on Otisco Lake. The objective of this project is to obtain biological and angler catch data to provide an insight on habitat use, characteristics of the Otisco Lake tiger musky fishery, and the efficiency of stocking. The study will also be used to determine the effectiveness of using anglers to tag and collect tiger musky data via angling on a medium sized inland lake.


This study will obtain current information on the status of the fishery, including angler catch, recapture rates and locations; size structure; and growth. This will inform the DEC on the quality and characteristics of the fishery, which may influence future management direction.


Catch and recapture location information will be used to document distribution of tiger muskellunge in, or possibly out of Otisco Lake, which will provide insights on habitat use. This information may be used for future assessments of habitat quality in other waterbodies.


This project will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of using cooperators to obtain enough tagging data to effectively assess tiger muskellunge fisheries.


Four members of our Chapter received hands-on training from the DEC on safe and proper fish handling procedures along with how to administer the tags and collect scale samples for the DEC. These members will submit collected data on a regular basis to the DEC for analysis. Chapter 70 will also be posting signage around the lake to inform anglers of the study and how to report a tagged fish if one is caught.


On October 19th, some members were able to get out on Otisco and tag a few fish. Congratulations to Travis Young, who was accompanied by Jeff Kaltenbach and Chad Johnson, who managed to catch and tag the first tiger musky for this study. Andrew Hulbert, accompanied by Jeff Dean Sr. caught and tagged the second fish. Mike Ellis caught the third fish which I tagged.


If an angler catches one of these tagged tiger muskies, they should record the length of the fish, the area it was caught, the tag identification number (ex. JR 01302), and report it to the Region 7 NYSDEC at ‪(607) 753-3095‬.


We look forward to working with the NYSDEC and anglers to collect as much data as possible with this study. We hope to see many recaptures over the course of the next few seasons and learn as much as we can about these great fish.IMG_2322.thumb.JPG.c0cba8b089dcbe2066b05ad5343c7792.JPGIMG_2323.thumb.JPG.943262abf9f4f523d48c65ddc9f0082d.JPGIMG_2295.thumb.JPG.dea00cd5bd8703c3624da6ef25c79620.JPGIMG_2300.thumb.JPG.519d7a3dca15f686757e172d8ab802ca.JPG


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work guys, but I think you might not want anglers measuring fish in the summer...most of the anglers catching these fish all summer when most musky guys don't target them aren't experienced esox anglers.  Personally, I don't even handle them for photos much in summer let alone for a measurement.  It would be easy enough to not accept angler measurements in July and August though...and it would set the example not to handle stressed out fish. I'll definitely be looking for the tags!  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Justin. We as a club will definitely be limiting the time we tag the fish to the more favorable handling conditions (spring & fall).

We are finalizing the signage design which will be hung adjacent to the other signs we put up that illustrates safe handling. As far as limiting recaptures during warm water periods is concerned, the DEC would have the final say on that as they are reported directly to the DEC and they control the terms of the study. We may be able to put some verbiage on our signs to emphasize summer handling.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...