It’s been a very good July for Joe Rivas, who caught two enormous tiger muskies on two separate journeys to Lake Lillonah final month. Rivas’ first fish weighed 26 kilos and measured 41 inches lengthy, in accordance with the Connecticut Information-Occasions. The second fish he caught was nearer to 42 inches lengthy, he mentioned, however he was unable to weight it.
Lake Lillonah—which is positioned in western Connecticut solely two hours from New York Metropolis—isn’t referred to as a hotspot for tiger muskie. The species is extra widespread in Midwestern waters. So, when the Connecticut Division of Fish and Wildlife shared a photograph of Rivas’ 41-inch fish on July 28, individuals have been shocked. Almost 400 individuals had commented on the submit as of Aug. 1, with lots of them asking how the fish acquired there within the first place.
CDFW officers confirmed that the state has by no means stocked tiger muskies, however that it did approve a allow for the Lake Lillinonah Authority to introduce the species 5 to seven years in the past. It seems these fingerlings haven’t solely survived, however thrived, within the time since.
Rivas instructed the Information-Occasions that he was simply as shocked to tug two huge tiger muskies from Lillonah final month. He referred to as the primary tiger he caught the “fish of a lifetime,” and mentioned he’ll be having a reproduction made.
“After I noticed it flash within the water and I truly noticed the broad profile,” he mentioned, “I knew what it was, and the adrenaline simply went by way of the roof.”
All About Tiger Muskies
Tiger muskies are a hybrid fish species identified for his or her aggressive habits. These hybridizations happen when a male northern pike fertilizes the eggs of a feminine muskellunge. As a result of all tiger muskies are sterile, they hardly ever take maintain in water our bodies naturally and are sometimes launched by fisheries managers.
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The primary hybridization was efficiently carried out in 1965 on the Spirit Lake Hatchery in Iowa, in accordance with the Iowa Division of Pure Sources. The species grew in reputation over time, and inside 20 years it was launched to greater than 30 lakes throughout the state. Whereas Iowa DNR not shares tiger muskies, the species can now be present in water our bodies all through the Midwest.
Anglers love tiger muskies as a result of they’re rather more aggressive than pure-strain muskies, and so they develop bigger that pure-strain northern pike. They’re additionally strikingly lovely with wavering stripes on their sides—therefore the title.
As a result of tiger muskies are hardly ever caught in Connecticut, there isn’t a class for the species within the state’s document e-book. The New York state document is a 35-pound, 8-ounce fish caught by Brett Gofgosky in 1990. Gofgosky’s fish additionally occurs to be an IGFA line-class document for the species.