Tiger muskellunge are a hybrid cross between northern pike and muskellunge. While they occasionally occur naturally, most tiger muskellunge found in New York State's waters have been stocked. First introduced by DEC in 1967 to provide "trophy" fishing, today the hardy hybrid is found in more than 50 waters across the State. The larger waters - the Mohawk River, Otisco Lake, Canadarago Lake, and the Susquehanna River - produce a number of trophy catches a year.
In appearance, the tiger musky is a real cross between its two parents. Tigers have the cheek and gill cover scale pattern of northern pike, but the barred dark body markings on a light background like the muskellunge. Averaging 24 to 38 inches, adult tiger muskellunge are larger than northern pike, but smaller than muskellunge. Tigers are extremely rapid growers, growing more quickly than either parent during the first two years of life.
Since tiger muskies are sterile hybrids, no successful spawning takes place. Tiger muskellunge are more easily raised in hatcheries than either parent. They readily feed on commercial fish food pellets and can be reared efficiently in great numbers. While the hybrid cross works either way, New York State hatcheries have traditionally used female muskellunge and male northerns for the stocking program.
Tiger muskellunge are important game fish actively sought by many anglers. Typically less difficult to catch than musky but more difficult than northerns, they add a unique quality to warmwater fishing.
More information can be found at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.