Tiger muskie

The tiger muskie is the hybrid of the northern pike and muskie. It is usually infertile and has characteristics of both parents. The hybrid has distinct tiger bars on a light background, similar to the barred coloration pattern of some muskie. Its fins and tail lobes are rounded like a northern pike's but colored like a muskie's. The cheekscale and mandible-pore patterns are intermediate between a northern pike's and muskie's.

Tiger (hybrid) muskellunge.

Tiger muskie face The tiger muskie grows slightly faster than either pure-strain parent in the first several years of life. It can exceed 30 pounds. Some tiger muskie occur naturally, though most hybrids are produced in hatcheries. They are useful in stocking because they grow quickly and endure high temperatures better than either parent does. Hybrids are easier to raise in a hatchery than pure-strain muskie, they reach legal size sooner and they are easier to catch. Because tiger muskie are usually sterile, their numbers can be controlled by changing the stocking rate.

In Minnesota, fish managers use the pure-strain muskie in lakes that can sustain naturally reproducing populations. The tiger muskie is reserved for lakes with heavy fishing pressure in and near the Twin Cities. Tiger muskie are subject to the same low possession limit and minimum-size limit that protect pure-strain muskie.