About 17,000 tiger muskies will arrive in Salt Lake City Tuesday evening to re-supply six state reservoirs. Tiger muskies are long, torpedo-shaped fish, with sharp teeth. They can weigh more than 30 pounds, and get longer than a child is tall. Right now, Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources is restocking these fish in reservoirs across the state.
Drew Cushing with the DWR says Tiger Muskies are very good for both the natural fish populations and anglers.
"Well these fish are unique in the fact that they are sterile. These are fish that’s a hybrid between a true muskie and a northern pike. They’re more friendly to use in places where we have native species concerns because they can’t reproduce. This is a way we can stock a water and get a trophy fishery out of it, and then protect the native species by eliminating the possibility of their reproducing."
The fish are currently about an inch long, and have a voracious appetite-- they have been eating each other on the long journey from Nebraska. Cushing says their appetite for other fish is partly why the DWR stocks them.
"We use them in these reservoirs like Pineview and some of these others to actually eat fish that are overabundant in these reservoirs. The remaining fish actually grow better and get a little bit bigger and more attractive to anglers. And so we use them as a management tool to improve the fisheries."
Current regulations state anglers must release muskies that measure under 40 inches, which takes about four years.
Tiger muskies are being released at:
- Pineview Reservoir near Ogden
- Joes Valley Reservoir near Ephraim and Price
- Johnson Reservoir near Richfield
- Newton Reservoir near Logan
- Cottonwood and Bullock Reservoirs near Vernal