The tiger muskellunge, commonly called tiger muskie, is a carnivorous fish, and is the usually-sterile, hybrid offspring of the true muskellunge and the northern pike. It lives in water and its range extends to Canada, the Northeast. It grows quickly, in one study, tiger muskie grew 1.5 times as fast as muskellunge. Like other hybrid species, tiger muskie are said to have hybrid vigor, meaning they grow faster and stronger than the parent fish, trophy specimens weigh about 30 lb. Its main diet is fish and small birds, the tiger muskie and the muskie are called the fish of 10,000 casts due to the challenge involved in catching them. The tiger muskie lives in the lakes and quiet rivers in Canada, the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and it is rarely found far from its natural waters except for stocked fish. Several states, including Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Washington, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, each tiger muskie tends to inhabit the same areas of its lake from year to year. It tends toward shallower waters and travels half as much in the summer and fall than it does in the winter to spring, the tiger muskie is the result of the true muskellunge and the northern pike interbreeding. The tiger muskie has some of the characteristics of both fish, Tiger muskie, like pike and muskellunge, have long, cylindrical-shaped bodies. Their dorsal and ventral fins are located far back near the tail and are lobe-shaped. The caudal fins of the tail are more rounded than those of true muskies. They have skinny and compressed heads and its pattern is varying amounts of color with vertical dark stripes and spots on a light background, the opposite color scheme of a northern pike. The tiger muskie has 5 or 6 chin pores per side on the lower jaw, the tiger muskie feeds as the northern pike and muskellunge do, by waiting near weeds and ambushing its prey. They have food similar to those of the true muskie. They seem to prefer larger fish during the summer and fall months in preparation for the winter months, during the winter and spring months they prey on smaller easier targets due to their slow metabolism. Its varied diet includes yellow perch, suckers, golden shiners, walleye, smallmouth bass, when fish are not readily available tiger muskies will feed on crayfish, frogs, ducklings, muskrats, mice, other small mammals, and small birds. State-record tiger muskie catches are recorded as 20-50 lb depending on the state, because tiger muskies are bred for stocking purposes, studies have been made of its growth rate and the factors that affect it. The growth rate of juveniles depends on the temperature and the type of feed. In studies, the muskie has had the highest growth, production
Tiger muskellunge caught at Tioga-Hammond/Cowanesque lakes in Pennsylvania in the United States in June 2013
A tiger muskie in preparation to be measured (26.5 inches). Released.