New Brunswick Fishing Forum banner

Muskie as Invasive Species in NB

22957 Views 56 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  conservethis
Hey guys,

Like many anglers I think it's pretty cool that I can go out on the river here and have a chance of catching muskie. However they are an invasive species, and they are spreading south. I suspect in a handful of years they will be throughout the entire St. John river system.

What I don't understand is why there is not an uproar against these fish? They are a top level predator, with no natural enemies. Nothing to control their population except us anglers... and the majority of the serious musky anglers seem to be practicing catch and release. (although I could easily be wrong here).

Look at the uproar of asian carp getting into the great lakes. Or smallmouth getting into the miramichi river system. Is the problem with these two examples only because of money? (i.e. the fishing industry in the great lakes and the salmon industry (tourism, etc) in the Miramichi?

Personally I'd love to have salmon and trout improve in the St John system, but that seems even less likely with the introduction of these top predators. What about the sturgeon in the river? There is almost nowhere else on the east coast of North America with such a strong sturgeon population, but it is mostly isolated to this one river system. Will they eat young sturgeon?

I'm really not advocating the removal of muskie. I think it's too late for that now anyway. I just think it interesting that this invasive species seems almost welcomed.
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 57 Posts
Asian carp are a completely different story and thier invasion is a completely different story/problem. They are not much for a sport fish, dangerous to humans because of thier frenzied leaps when boats are near. they also destroy habitat etc..

The only way to really improve the salmon population on the river would be the removal of the dam at mactaquac. while there is a fishway at the dam, it does not make it easy in any way for the salmon to migrate past it.

that said, yes muskie probably eat trout, but thier top menu items are suckers, gasperau, perch, and fallfish. probably bullheads and eels too. I can only assume that they are having some effect on baitfish populations.

Also consider other reasons that the trout fishery has gone downhill specifically overfishing and the introduction of Smallmouth Bass. Bass love trout just as much as any other predator and the average keeper bass is capable of eating an 8" trout.

Sturgeon are probably not eaten by muskies often or at all. Their bony plates are more like talons when they are small. they are very sharp and will cut you up if you aren't careful!

anyways, Muskie are great sportfish and a good way to attract anglers back to the St john river. They may be a top predator, but below the dam they are on the same level as striped bass.

We used to have a world class salmon fishery on the SJ, it's sad that it will likely never be that good again, but there is also potential for a world class muskie fishery in this river's future.. time will tell
See less See more
wow... thats horrible.. hope DFO finds that photo and shuts them down... it's nice to see that they are doing some farming, but farming on a scale that small will not produce enough caviar for a profitable business..

i wish they'd just ban commercial fishing for a couple years...
we will never be able to get rid of the muskies in the SJR system. they're here for good just like bass and pickerel.
Adam, as far as i know the SJR system does not connect with the miramichi system (correct me if i'm wrong) but if you really want to kill a bunch of fish to save the salmon, you should throw some spinnerbaits in miramichi lake and get some of the bass out of there!
If you throw them in the bushes, you could do it all day and not get your limit, the limit is a bag and possession limit, and that includes the ones in your freezer (they are still in your possession).

the "bag" is the amount of fish you harvest in a day. and throwing muskies into the bushes will do nobody any good (except for the raccons). We have to aknowledge that in the saint john river salmon numbers will never be what they were. however we currently have a potential world class fishery for Muskie. This would mean the SJR valley can benefit from this financially through guide services etc.
Studies show that muskies around here arent too fond of trout or salmon, they are not easy prey for them to catch. Suckers, chub and perch on the other hand are slower and easier to catch for them. I have read that Pike and Muskie tend to key in on whatever forage is most abundant too.

maybe i'm a little biased becasue i spend so much time trying to catch muskies, but I have learned to appreciate every fish i catch and treat every one of them with respect. if it's an eel, trout, salmon bass or pickerel, i think it would be a waste to kill any of them needlessly. I've seen people of all ages that throw everything they catch that isnt a trout in the woods just because they didnt want to catch THAT fish! I also met an older gentleman who was throwing everything he caught into the tall grass just because he always does it, including a sturgeon. I spent 20 minutes with the fish and it finally swam away!

IF it's not going into the frying pan or BBQ it goes back into the water, my father taught me that when i was 5.
See less See more
1 - 5 of 57 Posts
Not open for further replies.