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· just a no body
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Hundreds Of Meat-Eating Fish With Razor Sharp Teeth Released In Arizona Lake
News 20 Hours AgoArizona Republic - Ryan Randazzo
The Arizona Game and Fish Department released small tiger muskie fish into Horsethief Basin Lake near Crown King.

PHOENIX - A meat eating, tiger-striped predator with a mouthful of sharp teeth has been released in a remote Arizona lake. On purpose.

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish introduced about 450 tiny tiger muskies May 16 into Horsethief Basin Lake, a small reservoir 6,000 feet high in the mountains west of the Sunset Point rest area near Crown King.

While they are sardine-sized now, the long, spear-like fish grow quickly and are known among anglers for their feisty nature.

They can grow up to three feet long or more. The survivors should be a foot long in about a year, said Curt Gill, an aquatic wildlife program manager for the game and fish department.

"They should be catchable next summer," he said. "They are pretty fast growers."

Even though releasing them in the wild when they are so small runs the risk that larger fish will eat them, the young tiger muskie can't be kept in captivity any longer.

"Once they get to two inches, if there are so many in the area, they start eating each other," Gill said.

The department hopes the voracious fish will grow and eat many of the small bass in Horsethief Basin, allowing the remaining bass to grow larger. Surveys of bass in the lake show that 80% are smaller than eight inches.

If the plan works, anglers will have larger bass to catch as well as tiger muskie, though anglers must release any muskie they catch, according to the department.

Fish donated by state of Utah
The Utah Division of Wildlife Services donated the tiger muskies to Arizona.

Tiger muskie are unable to reproduce. They are a hybrid between muskellunge and northern pike, neither of which are native to Arizona. They are more common in the Midwest and Northeast.

Arizona officials said that Horsethief Basin is an isolated body of water so there is no threat of the fish spreading to other waterways.

"Even if they did escape, it's quite a long journey down a typically dry steam channel to Lake Pleasant," Gill said, adding that Lake Pleasant and other desert water bodies are too warm for muskie to survive.

And even if anglers catch tiger muskie and relocate them to other waters, and they somehow survive, they won't be able to reproduce and cause problems the way some other species have in the state, he said.

One of the reasons the fish grow fast is because they don't expend any energy spawning.

"The tiger muskie is a 'lie-in-wait' predator that will often stay hidden in weed beds until a fish or other prey item moves into range," according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Services. "The tiger muskie then lunges out of its hiding place to grab and devour its prey."

The record tiger muskie ever caught in Utah was 49 inches long and weighed 33 pounds and 9 ounces. It was caught in 2006 at Pineview Reservoir, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Services.

It's unclear how large they might get in Horsethief Basin, which is only about 4 acres.

"I wouldn't expect many of them to (grow that large) because they would eat themselves out of house and home," Gill said.

No other lake in Arizona has tiger muskie, though a few have northern pike.

Arizona's past experiments with fish
Gill said Arizona experimented with muskie in the past but the fish did not survive in the state.

The state planted muskellunge into Kinnikinick Lake near Flagstaff in 1932, according to a story in The Arizona Republic archives. Then in 1973 more than 30,000 tiny muskellunge were planted in Mormon Lake, also near Flagstaff. That lake dries up from time to time.

Arizona anglers a few years ago launched a petition for Arizona Game and Fish Department to bring muskie back to Arizona. It has gathered about 300 people in support over the years.

"We'll evaluate this population annually and determine if it's wise to stock more," the Arizona Game and Fish said in a news release.

Follow Ryan Randazzo at on Twitter @UtilityReporter.

· Banned
81,617 Posts
If they cant reproduce they shouldnt get out of control. They just need to put up "no skinny dipping" signs.
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· Registered
4,019 Posts
This was in a small stream in the Finger Lakes Region of New York up near Syracuse. The stream was so small you could just about jump over it. Evidently there are quite a few of them in there and with some size to them.
Car Hunting Vehicle Vertebrate Motor vehicle

Kinda changed my mind about wading in shorts and tennis shoes after seeing this.

· Máistir an pointe hocht.
75,132 Posts
If they cant reproduce they shouldnt get out of control. They just need to put up "no skinny dipping" signs.
This is what they said about Bradford pear trees, didn't you ever see Jurassic park man, Nature finds a way..... :wave1:
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· Registered
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Thats funny, I live in Arizona and didn't know about Horsethief Basin lake or the musky stocking, and I do a lot of fishing! Looks like I have to go to Missouri whitetails to catch up on local news..lol
Did you used to live in Missouri?

· Registered
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No, I've had hunting property in Mo since 2002. My wife and I are heading to the Table Rock Lake area next week to make an offer on some land in Stone County. We would like to build a place and spend several months a year there.
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