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Tiger Muskie
#497218 10/05/18 07:32 AM
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I've done some reading here and elsewhere about Tiger Muskie to "cull" lmb. My pond is only 1.5 acres or so. I can't get to it as often as I would like and my relative weights are telling me I'm not culling enough small bass. Has anyone had direct experience with them in a similar scenario? Is my pond too small? I would consider 1 or 2 Tiger Muskie and would certainly enjoy catching one from time to time.

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497219 10/05/18 08:17 AM
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I'm in the middle of a couple experiences like yours. Just last week I stocked 2 TM in each of 2 ponds that were just under an acre. My biggest concern in the lakes that I stocked them in is water temp exceeding that which allows TM to survive in the summer. So that would most likely be a concern with your pond as well considering you are south of me. Unless you have spring fed pond with cool water refuge in the summer. Where are you located in KS? You may be able to drive up and get 1-2 TM from me.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497221 10/05/18 09:16 AM
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I live just south of KC but my pond is another hour south of that. What is the upper temperature tolerance for a TM?

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497224 10/05/18 10:37 AM
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Iíve researched that quite a bit but canít get a definitive answer. I believe it varies according to size with larger tiger Muskie needing cooler water than younger smaller tiger Muskie. From people Iíve talked to and according to State of Nebraska stocking plans pure strain Muskie tolerate warmer water than tiger. And Iím fairly certain thereís 0% chance youíd have to worry about reproduction. So that may be a better option. In fact itís probably a better option for both of us. But I wanted to play around with TM for a few years before moving on to pure Muskie.

Side note: I did have a northern pike, the least warm water tolerant of the 3, survive up to 37Ē in my 2/3 acre pond. That pond does have a deeper section than my large pond, but it does make me hopeful that tiger Muskie can survive.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497227 10/05/18 12:10 PM
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Hmm? Maybe I'd better dig deeper. My pond has pretty steep banks and gets to about 14' deep over a good portion of the total area of the pond. I'm not sure where I could source them from. It's a long drive from Nebraska back to my pond. We get up to Omaha a good bit. It's probably 4.5hrs from Omaha to my pond.

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497228 10/05/18 12:57 PM
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Agreed Corey - of the Esox NP have the least warm water tolerance, then TM, then Muskie. Makes sense when you review a map of their native ranges - NP are common from Northern NE all the way up to the Artic, but Muskies Northern range, like SMB, seem to end about 50-100 miles over the CA border. I have read about Muskies in TN and KY reservoirs which also host SMB populations and they routinely grow into the 40-50 LB range. If I were stocking TM into a small BOW in KS I'd set my aeration diffusers in 3/4 max depth in order to allow a thermocline to establish and provide cool water refuge during the dog days of Summer while still allowing for the benefit of aeration. I harbor concerns depending on Esox species to manage LMB populations as they will also hammer other species - I'd recommend angling to cull/manage LMB especially in a small BOW, it's easy to catch 25-50 LMB daily between a few anglers. TM aren't worth the risk due to the impact on entire fishery, IMO...plus fishing is a lot more fun!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497229 10/05/18 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: mbj4ksu
Hmm? Maybe I'd better dig deeper. My pond has pretty steep banks and gets to about 14' deep over a good portion of the total area of the pond. I'm not sure where I could source them from. It's a long drive from Nebraska back to my pond. We get up to Omaha a good bit. It's probably 4.5hrs from Omaha to my pond.


I'll get you a couple if that's the route you choose and if I have a few extra. But its 3:45 to the KC airport for me. So 5 plus to your pond. Tigers are hard to source. I believe I saw a website with some pure strain in Missouri. I'll look to see if I can find that again.

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497281 10/07/18 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the input guys! NEDOC, let me chew on this and get back to you if think I want to give this a try.

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497292 10/08/18 05:59 AM
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Here's the website with pure strain advertised. They also have pike, which is interesting.

http://www.harrisonfishery.com/speciesEcoSys.htm


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497297 10/08/18 07:39 AM
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I can put in a good word for Harrison's. I went to the fish farm last April to pick up my HBG, HSB, and RES. Kurt (owner) was good to meet and deal with. He is very personable and you can tell he enjoys what he does. I do not think that the HSB were breed/raised at his farm. I would be willing to bet that the more exotics for the area are not as well. I would call them and ask, he may even offer a recommendation for a farm closer to you. I think they make a heavy percentage of their income delivering fish, not so much the small guy like me showing up with some barrels and a pick-up truck. Therefore, they work closely with other farms which allows them to offer more species as they can pick up species that they do not carry on there way to/from a delivery and store them in their stock tanks for the customer.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497309 10/08/18 11:27 AM
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I'll be honest, even though it could be a mistake in managing your pond, I'd love to see you stock a few tiger muskie. Selfishly, I just wanna see more small pond management experiences in muskie management. I think tigers would be a better option for one reason only..... they're easier to catch. So if they aren't working to improve your pond it should be easier to remove them.... In theory.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497354 10/10/18 07:48 AM
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I'm tempted NEDOC. It would be an interesting, albeit small, case study.

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497942 10/26/18 11:45 AM
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belonged to a club in northern Colorado that stocked a couple dozen tiger musky and the walleye and perch population exploded in size and carp all but disappeared. Most of the people fishing the pond used 6 or 10lb. test line and most fish broke off.

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497943 10/26/18 12:14 PM
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Thanks adr. Anecdotal observations like that are great to hear. Crap removal is my main objective.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #497979 10/27/18 10:09 AM
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If you are close to KC you should call Shawn Banks. Heís a Pond Boss approved guy in Polo, MO.

http://midwestlake.com/about-us/

Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #508556 07/06/19 10:54 PM
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NEDOC, how is your experiment going? mbj4ksu, did you end up going forward with TM? If so, how is it working out? I am just south of KC and thinking about it as well for my 4 acre pond. Is anyone else experimenting with TM?

Re: Tiger Muskie
masterbasser316 #508936 07/15/19 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: masterbasser316
NEDOC, how is your experiment going? mbj4ksu, did you end up going forward with TM? If so, how is it working out? I am just south of KC and thinking about it as well for my 4 acre pond. Is anyone else experimenting with TM?


Mine has probably gone as well as I couldíve hoped for. I released a couple in my buddies pond and he caught each of them once this spring. I put 11 in my 15 acre pond but havenít caught one yet.

I purchased 30 plus again this spring and Iím feeding them tilapia presently. Amazing how much easier Iím making it on myself this year just by knowing the steps.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #508938 07/15/19 08:46 PM
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Thanks for the update NEDOC. Where did you get the Tiger Muskie from? Also, where did you get the Tilapia? I have been looking to get those as well.

Re: Tiger Muskie
masterbasser316 #508951 07/16/19 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted By: masterbasser316
Thanks for the update NEDOC. Where did you get the Tiger Muskie from? Also, where did you get the Tilapia? I have been looking to get those as well.


I had mine shipped in from Minnesota Muskie Farms. They have been incredible to work with.

Well the tilapia I have been getting have been from the grocery store. Hahaha, I've trained mine to eat cut up strips of tilapia fillets (about 3 lbs per week for 25 TM). Here is the story I had put together last year. This year I am doing the same but with better results.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=492139&page=1

Last edited by NEDOC; 07/16/19 06:21 AM.

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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #508958 07/16/19 07:35 AM
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NEDOC - to what do you attribute your better results at hand feeding the muskie this year? Experience? Anything that you are doing slightly different at the beginning of the feed training?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/16/19 07:36 AM.

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Re: Tiger Muskie
Bill Cody #508962 07/16/19 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
NEDOC - to what do you attribute your better results at hand feeding the muskie this year? Experience? Anything that you are doing slightly different at the beginning of the feed training?


Bill I think there are a few things that may be impacting the situation....

1) Bruce kept them in his basement both winters. The first batch he simply threw fatheads in and let them eat enough to survive. This second batch he began feeding them worms on alligator clips much like I did in the cages last summer. So they had a head start on feeding as they were engaged in our system of feeding 3-4 months sooner.

2) This season we have nearly double the number of fish in the same number of cages. So they are twice as crowded as last year. I believe they have learned from each other, or from observing more repetitions of other fish feeding. Or maybe it just creates more competition and increases aggressiveness.

3) I've kept more water flowing through my grow out pond this season. I believe my water temps stay in the upper 60s or lower 70s, whereas last year it reached lower 80s several times. I think they became a bit lethargic at those temps.

4) I only feed them every 2-3 days as that seems like the amount of time it takes for them to digest a chunk of tilapia that is usually 5-15% of their body weight. Last year I was feeding them every day. At times it just seemed like I couldn't force them to eat, in reality they probably just weren't hungry. So I think it gives me the perception they are trained better. In reality they are just hungrier and more aggressive.

I'll try to get video of their aggressive feeding. The other night I dropped a tilapia strip on the wire mesh lid of the cage. One of the TM jumped 6" out of the water and hit the lid trying to get to the tilapia. Yikes!! The next step in my journey is attempting to release them into my grow out pond and see if I can keep them on tilapia. One of them escaped and I haven't been able to get him to take fillet strips. I'm going to add slip bobbers above the alligator clips and possibly add an auditory signal (ringing a bell?) during feeding time to create stronger association that may help correlation to feeding so that I can release them into a bigger body of water and keep them on tilapia. Any ideas and suggestions how to do that are appreciated!


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #508967 07/16/19 11:49 AM
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All great pieces of helpful information. You have the training technique refined well for hard to teach predators. Great for sharing your information with the forum!.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #508973 07/16/19 01:05 PM
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I am considering trying pike and/or pure strain Muskie in a few years to compare and contrast. Last year it was a bit time consuming so I was a bit apprehensive to take on more. But refining it this year to where I only feed them every 2-3 days has made it much easier.

I just wish my large lake had the water quality for them to thrive after being released.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #508982 07/16/19 03:24 PM
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Corey I notice the same phenomenon feeding WE, SMB, HBCP and HSB off the dock...while the HSB seem to be ready to feed daily, the other fish, especially HBCP, will go days before showing up again. I finally figured their attendance is likely based on stomach size/digestive rates. A good sized catfish chunk seems to leave even a nice sized HBCP [16-18"] satiated for a few days and I won't see them but every 3-4 days...bigger the fish, bigger the stomach size.


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Re: Tiger Muskie
mbj4ksu #509004 07/17/19 12:37 AM
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Is there any chance that southern bred musky, such as flourish in Tennessee, could live in my NE Texas BOW? Sure would be fun to have a few, if they could survive summer. My deepest water is around 21 feet and I don't aerate, so a thermal refuge sets up right around 9 or 10 feet deep in July/Aug/Sep.

Central Ohio 22 acre BOW stocked 25 12 inch TM and they did well, growing to about 38/39 inches. Reduced excess LMB numbers with positive effects on LMB size & BG.

I know this sounds crazy, and the odds are against, but then HSB in ponds was crazy, too.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206,7




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