Mile High Hybrids
Musky Hunter|December 2020/January 2021
GIANT TIGERS ABOUND IN THE RESERVOIRS OF UTAH
Joe Weisner

Best known for its state parks, incredible ski-ing, scenic hiking and mountain biking, Utah is quickly becoming known for trophy tiger muskies. There are not many places where you can target muskies at elevations over a mile above sea level!

Utah offers 14 lakes with hybrids, ranging from high alpine lakes surrounded by pine trees and forest, to high desert lakes surrounded by massive cliffs, red rock and scrub oak. Pineview, Joe’s Valley, Newton, Johnson Valley and Cottonwood are a few of our tiger fisheries sustaining catchable numbers of quality fish. Among these lakes are two I will highlight as your best shot for a trophy.

Pineview Reservoir

At 5,000 feet of elevation, this 2,874-acre reservoir in northern Utah is the premier tiger fishery. Hybrids were introduced to Pineview in 1989 to control panfish populations and their popularity among anglers quickly caught on. Over the last 20 years, Pineview has produced more giant tigers than nearly any destination in the country, with many growing to the 50-inch mark and several megas in the 52-inch class.

Not only does Pineview pump out giants, there is opportunity to get into some real numbers due to consistent stocking of 20,000 to 30,000 fingerlings per year thanks to collaboration between Muskies Inc. Chapter 65 and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Pineview’s hybrids exhibit incredible growth rates. From fingerling to full maturity they often grow to 24 inches in length during their first two years, 30 inches the third year, and add four inches or more every year after that. Fish that grow insanely fast tend to die young, at about 10 to 12 years, and this is the case in Pineview. Currently the average tiger is 37 to 40 inches long with some mid 40s in the mix in addition to the true giants.

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