Muskies in the Des Plaines river???

Fella told me last night that he pulled a 30+ lb muskie out of the DesPlaines river in the Chicago western suburbs. (I’d post this in the Chicago forum, but maybe this has wider, upper-midwestern connections). I’ve fished for muskie in northern Wisconsin and in Canada. I’ve never heard of them this far south, let alone in a river like that. Is this guy mistaken, or are there really such fish to be had in the area?

I’m not sure, but tiger muskie (muskellunge x northern pike) are found quite a bit away from there. They’re usually stocked, I believe. E.g. in UT/NV, WA.

There are tiger muskie here in Virginia, in the Potomac.

Muskies and Tiger Muskies up here in Minnesota and Wisconsin, so no, not that far away.

From the Wikipedia page;

“The muskellunge is known by a wide variety of trivial names including Ohio muskellunge, Great Lakes muskellunge, barred muskellunge, Ohio River pike, Allegheny River pike, jack pike, unspotted muskellunge and the Wisconsin muskellunge.”

And “Muskellunge are found in oligotrophic and mesotrophic lakes and large rivers from northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota through the Great Lakes region, north into Canada, throughout most of the St Lawrence River drainage and northward throughout the upper Mississippi valley, although the species also extends as far south as Chattanooga in the Tennessee River valley. There is also a small population in the Broad River in South Carolina. Several North Georgia reservoirs also have healthy stocked populations of muskie. They are also found in the Red River drainage of the Hudson Bay basin”
In other words, Chicago area is pretty much in the middle of the habitat range.

Not a big fisherman, and not currently living around Chicago, but in my experience the Tribure “Outdoors” columns regularly reported on folk getting muskie in the area. Many local lakes were stocked - not sure if Muskie, Northerns or Tigers. And I seem to recall some “pike” being pulled from the Desplaines and Fox rivers. I think the assumption is they were released by fishermen.

Just my vague recollection.