My research takes place in St. Louis River Estuary (SLRE) located in western Lake Superior. The area is a designated Area of Concern (AOC) by the Environmental Protection Agency due to severe environmental degradation. Although recent restoration projects have benefited the estuary, the status of muskellunge, an indicator species, and their use of restored habitats is uncertain. Two genetic strains (Wisconsin and Minnesota) persist following previous stocking to restore the extirpated population. Despite the importance of muskellunge within the SLRE AOC as a valuable bio-indicator and game species, little is known about their life history, population estimates are uncertain, and the influence of genetic strain is unknown. Additional research is needed to address stakeholder concerns and better use muskellunge as an indicator species in the SLRE AOC. To address this need, we are using passive acoustic telemetry to quantify muskellunge movement patterns, habitat use, compare patterns by genetic strain, and refine population estimates.

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