A few of us attended the meeting. Here is a brief summary of some of the high points...
They reviewed the draft copy of the plan and opened it up to public comment, which will be taken online until November 30th.
They spoke about the stocking program and how they have increased the size (length and weight) of fingerlings stocked greatly since 2007.
Every year they spend roughly $600,000 on musky stocking and produce the second highest total of muskies in the entire US.
They spoke about the use of PIT tags to track the egg laden females in the sanctuary (currently in use), and CWT tags to track fingerling muskies after 3 years of growth to determine native/stocked populations (going to be studied in 2013).
One female, PIT tagged in Pymatuning in 2007 at 38.5", 13 lbs , was recaptured in the sanctuary in 2010 at 50", 39 lbs... an amazing 6", 13lbs a year!
There is already an "Enhanced Musky" Program on the regulation books, which would limit a lake to a 45" size limit and 1 per day creel limit. There are currently no lakes under these regulations, but could potentially be in the future.
They want to study the results of the increase from 30"-40" size limit next year in 8 lakes in the state. They would like to collect 5 years of data to compare with the previous data they have, in order to determine results. Pymatuning would be used as a "control" lake, since the size limit is still set at 30".
Data will be collected on rivers, where data is historically void due to difficulty of sampling. Traditional trap net techniques aren't as effective, and therefore, different methods are needed to sample and gather "baseline" data on these waters.
Along with that, waters will be sampled to determine if there is more natural reproduction than previously thought. It was always "believed" to be very little, but there was never a study to determine if that was truly the case.
It was originally proposed as a 30" to 36" size limit increase by the state, but through the angler comment period, anglers asked for a 40" size limit and the board agreed. So public comment matters!!!!! http://www.fishandboat.com/musky-plan.htm