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4,250 muskies stocked in Utah waters

Hundreds of true muskie should arrive in Utah in October

More than 4,200 tiger muskies have a new home in Utah.

Small, 3- to 5-inch tiger muskies preparing to be stocked in Joes Valley.

These small tiger muskies are among more than 4,200 muskies that were stocked into Utah reservoirs last week.

Photo by Mike Christensen, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

On Aug. 23, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources stocked 3- to 5-inch tiger muskies into three reservoirs in the state. A total of 150 tigers went into Bullock in northeastern Utah, Joes Valley in east-central Utah received 3,100 and Johnson in southwestern Utah got 1,000.

You can watch as the tigers are released into Joes Valley by viewing the DWR video on YouTube.

Joes Valley and Johnson have good populations of tiger muskie. The additional fish will expand those populations and provide anglers with more chances to catch these toothy giants.

The tigers stocked in Bullock were the first tigers stocked there since the DWR treated the reservoir in 2012 to remove carp and other undesirable fish.

DWR hatchery workers obtained the fish in South Dakota and transported them to Utah.

Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR, says the small tiger muskie will grow fast. "By next spring," he says, "the fish should be 15 inches long. And within five to six years, muskies that are more than four feet long should be available to catch."

And there's more good news: In October, the DWR should receive several hundred true muskie from North Carolina.

Hatchery workers will take the 10-inch muskies to the DWR's hatchery at the Lee Kay Public Shooting Range in Salt Lake City. By 2016, the muskies should be mature enough that hatchery workers can take milt (sperm) from the males. Then, after taking eggs from female northern pike that are at Lee Kay, the workers will be back in business, producing tiger muskies again in Utah.

Cushing says Utah's efforts to raise its own tiger muskies suffered a blow recently when people entered the hatchery facility at night and caught all but four of the true muskies that were swimming in the ponds.

Work is underway to secure the facility so people and birds can't get to the fish that arrive in October.

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