Tiger Muskellunge (Esox lucius x Esox masquinongy)

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Tiger musky are a cross between northern pike and muskellunge. They are similar in form to pike or musky; however, they have the scaled gill cover of a pike and the body markings of a musky. They usually have five pores under each side of the jaw, similar to a pike.

Common Names: tiger musky

Habitat of the Tiger Muskellunge

Similar to musky, tiger musky are often found in shallow weedy areas of lakes or rivers. “Cabbage weeds” provide ideal habitat for tiger musky. They are often associated with cover such as heavy vegetation, stumps and logs. They generally prefer much warmer water than northern pike. Tiger musky can occur in the wild where pike and musky coexist, and they are also a result of extensive stocking.

Spawning Patterns of the Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger musky are mainly a stocked fish but there are instances of naturally occurring crosses. In these instances, the female is often fertile but rarely is the male.

The Diet of the Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger musky prefer large prey items, especially fish; however, they will also eat crayfish, frogs, mice, muskrats, and young waterfowl.

Age and Growth Ranges of the Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger musky are thought to be generally faster growing than musky or pike; however, there is not a lot of detailed age and growth information available.

OFAH sponsors a program called the Cleitrum Project. This project, conducted by O.M.N.R. and the Royal Ontario Museum, collects cleithral bones of pike and muskellunge from across their range. In this program anglers send in cleithral bones from pike and musky they keep, and the age and growth data is used to help manage these fish based on science. If you plan to keep a pike or musky, please visit http://www.trentu.ca/muskie.