St. Lawrence River Muskellunge Angler Diary Program

ESF TIBSThe SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) conducts research on the St. Lawrence River muskellunge population at their Thousand Islands Biological Station (TIBS). This research is funded by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and is guided by an international muskellunge management plan. The voluntary Angler Diary Program is an important tool used by ESF scientists to help evaluate the status of the St. Lawrence River muskellunge population and sportfishery.

It is important that the information you provide in the diaries is accurate. Record every fishing trip, even if no fish were caught. Fill out all the information for each trip.

Specific Instructions

If fishing alone record “1”; otherwise write the number of anglers in the boat or party who are being included in a trip report.

Always fill in this space with the date of the fishing trip.

Write the name of the lake, pond or stream you are fishing.

Record time at beginning and end of each trip.  Note time taken for breaks, lunch, waiting out a storm, etc. if it is greater than 1/2 hour in additional comments section.

Select one of the following:  Boat-live bait; Boat-artificials; Shore-live bait; Shore-artificials; Ice-tip-ups; Ice-jigging.

If you did not catch any fish (kept or released, check the “No Fish Caught” box.  However, record other data such as time, number of anglers and type of fishing.

Select the species of fish you are primarily fishing for on this trip such as Muskellunge, regardless of whether or not you caught one.  If several species were sought, such as Muskellunge and Tiger Musky, select them both.  If you have no particular target, select “anything”.

If you catch coldwater gamefish on this trip and wish to record it, you should do so using the remarks section.

SPECIES:  List the abbreviation for each.
SMB – Smallmouth Bass
LMB – Largemouth Bass
NOP – Northern Pike
WAE – Walleye
PKL – Pickerel
MKY – Muskellunge
TGM – Tiger Musky

Select “C” or “R” in this column to indicate if a fish was creeled (kept) or released.

Measure ALL fish from tip of snout to tip of tail.  Tail should be pinched straight to achieve maximum length.  Measure fish to nearest 1/4 inch.  Fish being released should be measured and quickly returned to the water.

Record the number from each tagged fish you catch if possible.  If you keep the fish, return the tag via mail to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 253 Illick Hall, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210.  If you release the fish, record the tag number but do not remove the tag.

Examine all fish closely to check for fins which may have been removed to mark fish for special studies.  Record the abbreviation for specific fins as shown below:


If no tags or fin-clips are present, select a line (-) in the respective blocks.  Record ALL other data.

Record area of catch for each fish.  If special study areas have been established for this water, record the name or number of the study area for each fish caught.

If you catch more than 30 fish, please record other fish in the additional remarks section.

Use this space to note information about this trip for your own use, or to clarify any of the items mentioned above.

Record EVERY trip and ALL warm water game fish caught.  Please record your trip information even if you catch no fish.  Information on the number of trips where no fish are caught is valuable to the DEC in making management decisions about this water.

Record Angler Diary Entry for 2023 Season

Use the form below to record your angler diary entry. At the end of the year we will submit all entries to ESF scientists in support of their on-going efforts track trends in our sport fishery and aid the DEC in their management of the St. Lawrence River muskellunge fishery.

Supporting Links

Be sure to visit the links below for more information on musky fishing and to explore some of those who support our cause.

If you would like to see additional links added to this section, please let us know.  We will be happy to review the suggested link with the board for inclusion.

Musky Topics

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