BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is stocking Gross Reservoir with 1,000 non-native fish to control the population of a problem species. CPW aquatic biologist Ben Swigle stocked seven-inch tiger muskie fish in the Boulder County reservoir Tuesday.
CPW officials said the tiger muskie plays a small but important role in the management of fisheries across Colorado.
“They are considered a silent predator to help us control undesirable species that are present in some of our lakes and reservoirs,” said Senior Aquatic Biologist Jeff Spohn.
The undesirable species in Gross Reservoir are white and longnose suckers. CPW officials said the fish can breed out of control and harm other species if left uncontrolled. Swigle has seen great results in balancing the species of the fish at Gross Reservoir.
“Ten years ago we had 78 percent sucker biomass in the reservoir, but we started stocking tiger muskies and brown trout and that has gone down to like 35 percent,” Swigle said. “You stock the predators and are able to flip that.”
More than 15,000 Tiger Muskies will be dropped into 29 bodies of water across Colorado to keep the white and longnose suckers at bay.
The state record for the biggest tiger muskie caught in Colorado is 40 pounds, two ounces, caught by Jason Potter at Quincy Reservoir in Arapahoe County in 1994. That fish was 53 inches long.
The bag and possession limit for tiger muskie in Colorado is one fish and it has to be at least 36 inches long to keep.