Tiger Muskies coming to Phillips Reservoir

From the desk of Trout Unlimited Oregon Chair Tom Wolf: ODFW wants to stock hybrid tiger muskies in Phillips Reservoir in NE Oregon to deal with an explosion of yellow perch which is crowding out the rainbow trout population. Tiger muskies have been used by other states in this situation and because they are sterile and voracious predators, they will focus (in theory) on perch and remove enough to let rainbow population recovery.

tiger muskie
Photo by thart2009

Tom expressed TU’s concern about using an invasive species to control another invasive species and about the possibility that tigers muskies can get into Powder river drainage.

The Commissioners felt that the risks were low enough to warrant the stocking of the tiger muskies. ODFW will acquire some tiger muskie stock from Utah and start stocking this spring.

Other ODFW Commission details available here.

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13 Responses to Tiger Muskies coming to Phillips Reservoir

  1. Tony T. says:

    When will the ODFW learn???

  2. Jim Terborg says:

    Does anyone know how long Tiger Muskies live? If they plant adults and they die off in 2-3 years, it might be worth it. If it works there, would it work in Davis and Crane to clean out the bass and other invasive fish that now exist in those former Blue Ribbon trout fisheries?

  3. Erik Stowell says:

    How about Brown trout, instead of a ‘foreign ‘ invasive species. If a few of these get loose in the Powder…..

  4. Shane M says:

    Once the muskie eat up the perch they’ll turn to the trout and anything else in the water. They did this in huge flood control lake in central Pennsylvania and eventually the musky moved up into the river I grew up fishing. They eat the bulk of the smallmouth population and everything else that couldn’t outrun them. They’re lots of fun to catch and while I was growing up I didn’t think much of it other than these are fun monsters to fish for. You also had to run a steel leader even while fishing for bass because they hit everything. It wasn’t until years later that I realized the bass population had shrank so much because of the muskie but by then it was too late and the river has never really recovered.

  5. David Jensen says:

    I go to Eastern Oregon every March for Flyfishing With Wolves on the Wallowa, in bitter cold. I can deal with that. But the thought of trying to deal with something this big, nasty, and dangerous scares the shit out of me. I would rather be back in the Marine Corps 1970-1973.

  6. Erik Stowell says:

    In response to Jim above: Tiger Muskies can live up to 18 years, and there are some reports on the blogs that there is limited natural reproduction (5-6% successful). That’s a long time to have 10-20lbs fish killers roaming about a reservoir. Their introduction in Cascade Lake, Idaho was reportedly a dismal failure, and hurt the trout population as much as the perch….

  7. Jim Terborg says:

    Erik:

    Thanks for the info. Not worth the risk. But, how do we restore Crane and Davis to trout only fisheries?

  8. Marc Robershaw says:

    Just no. If you think people wont bucket biologist these fish to other bodies of waters is laughable. I know that these fish are sterile but nature seems to find away. Havent played God enough with our water systems?

  9. tofo says:

    It’s been a pretty effective management technique in UT. The tigers are sterile, and there is zero, read zero, not Ian Malcolm “nature will find a way” but zero chance they’ll reproduce in the wild. In UT, they don’t live for 18 years. Maybe they’ll live longer up in the Beaver state, but I’d bet 5-6 years tops from a single stocking.

  10. tacfisher says:

    I am sure everyone has looked at the pros and cons about stocking these invasive fish.I fish for them in Washington in a few of the lakes they have them in here.I know I have learned much from the others who fish them.I was a salmon trout and perch fisherman and I am now hooked on the Tigers.I hear they ones that are stocked are fingerlings,they may not have even made it through the winter.I am not one to be able to say much about them but I know that in Lake Tapps where they have been stocked the lake is one of the better smallmouth lakes we have.I have fished for the Tigers there and have landed a 3 to 4 lb largemouth.Other lakes that theve stocked to control the perch have had there trout populations return not deminish.In Merwin the kokani and bull trout look to be doing well.I am not plugging a website but try http://www.nwtigermuskies.com and see what they can tell you.Im sure there are others that you can look up also.Give them a chance before you kill them off so soon.

  11. Devin Rodriguez says:

    They stalked tiger muskie in Curlew Lake in NE WA. The population of trout and bass have been just fine. WDFW introduced the muskies to help eliminate squawfish. The bass population is doing great, the trout populations is amazing. I see nothing wrong with it. The fish have been in Curlew Lake for about 11 or so years. People complain because they worry about there trout and bass. Dont get me wrong, both species are fun, but muskie are awesome! Ive been hoping OR would do this. If only theyd release a couple in Agate lake to get rid of the damned perch in there.

  12. Renee Koberlein says:

    What’s wrong with perch? Perch are some of the best eating fish I have eaten. They are fun to catch too. My husband and his friend fish in Pineview reservoir in Utah where Muskies have been planted and they have seen numerous bass with chunks bitten out of their sides. They have even had bass attacked by a Muskie while it was being realed into their boat! Please don’t put them in Phillips reservoir. Put Waleye in instead. They will serve the same purpose and be less destructive and good eating. Muskies are a bad idea.

  13. Jerry Hoyt says:

    Tiger Muskies are a bad idea! I live in Utah, near Pineview Reservoir, where Tiger Muskies were planted several years ago to “control yellow perch” populations. It does not work! There are more perch in Pineview now than ever. The problem is, the majority of perch are stunted and skinny due to overpopulation . As the Tigers grow, so does the size of fish they eat. I have seen a big decline in bass, crappie, and bluegill since Tigers were introduced to Pineview. Muskies are aggressive and will attack fish (even trout) as you reel them in. The trout fisherman will not be happy when they lose their expensive lures and pop gear to the muskies. On the bright side, the sporting good store owners will be happy, they will sell a lot more gear! Seriously, please consider planting another predator such as walleye, which are good to eat. Or, leave the perch alone and continue the netting program you already have in place. It’s working great! I fished Phillips last year with a friend, we caught lots of good size, good eating perch! In my opinion, Tiger Muskies are extremely overrated, they put up a good fight for a few seconds, then come in like a wet log.

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