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Tiger Muskellunge

Esox masquinongy

Pike Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Tiger Muskellunge


Common Name(s):
Tiger musky
Description:
The tiger musky is produced when a male northern pike fertilizes the eggs of a female muskellunge and therefore shares the traits of both species. The entire cheek and the upper half of the gill cover are covered in scales (like the northern pike). They generally have 5-8 sensory pores (in between the ranges of northern pike and musky). The most distinguishing feature is the body markings, which look like tiger stripes.
Similar Fish:
Muskellunge, northern pike
Feeding Habits:
Like both the northern pike and the muskellunge, the tiger musky feeds almost entirely on other fish. It will also eat crayfish, small amphibians, and aquatic insects.
Range:
Because of the nature of their hybridization, they can occur anywhere that northern pike and muskellunges share the same waters. They are fairly rare though, because this fish is born sterile and cannot reproduce. They’re mainly found in the northern and northeastern United States, as well as in southern and southeaster Canada.
Habitat:
They prefer shallow lakes and slow rivers with heavy vegetation, like the muskellunge. They like to live in colder waters.
Typical Size:
The tiger muskellunge is much smaller than a true muskellunge, and will only grow to a maximum weight of 25-35 pounds, though it typically reaches around 20 pounds.
World Record:
51 pounds, 3 ounces (Source - IGFA)