Utah has sometimes had a hard time finding tiger muskie fry from other states and so DWR began an ambitious program to produce our own. Now that program is paying off, with the first Utah-raised fry being stocked into Bullock and Cottonwood reservoirs.
DWR has this news report about the program. Here are excerpts.
Gusher — "They are small, but they just made history," Barry Nielsen said as biologist Garn Birchell poured the first bag of about 20 tiger muskie fry into Bullock Reservoir.
The tiny tiger muskie released into Cottonwood, Bullock and Newton reservoirs should grow to this size in just a few weeks.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources photo
"These are the first tiger muskies bred and hatched in Utah," Nielsen said, "and the first I know of to be raised in the West."
The tiger muskie project has been a special opportunity for Nielsen, a hatchery worker at the Lee Kay pond facility in Salt Lake City and his supervisor Randy Harrison, the fish culture coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
"Tiger muskies are an incredible fish," Nielsen said. "They're a cross between a northern pike and a muskellunge or 'muskie.' They get the best from both parents; tiger muskies are an excellent predator, and they grow extremely fast.
"Anglers love them because they're a thrill to catch. They can grow to 20 or 30 pounds within a few years."
Aquatic biologists like tiger muskie because the fish are skilled predators. Biologists use tiger muskie in waters in Utah where the biologists need to control unwanted populations of carp, white sucker and a few other non-native fish. Because tiger muskie are sterile, the biologists can control their numbers, which prevents the tigers from overrunning a fishery.