Tiger muskie in Oregon?

Ive heard of people catching tiger muskie that were planted in Phillips lake in 2013, but do any of you have any experience with this? Its kind of a bucket list thing.. ive heard that merwin resavoir above portland can has some huge tiger muskie and has been stocked every few years since the late 80s? Any experience with fishing for them in any lake in wa/or would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks guys


Well-known member
here is what I found on odfw site:

ODFW introduces Oregon’s first tiger muskie into Phillips Reservoir

June 26, 2013

LA GRANDE, Ore. – On June 25, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife released 25,000 tiger muskie into Phillips Reservoir near Baker City, part of on-going efforts to restore the once-thriving rainbow trout fishery.

This is the first time tiger muskie (a sterile cross between muskellunge and northern pike) has been introduced into Oregon waters and according to Tim Bailey, ODFW fish biologist, this top-tier predator should help control the runaway yellow perch population that has decimated the trout fishery in Phillips Reservoir.

“Tiger muskie have been used elsewhere in the United States to help restore trout fisheries threatened by an over-abundant, competitive species,” he said. “Because both muskie and northern pike co-exist with yellow perch in their native environment, and feed on them heavily, we expect they’ll eat large numbers of yellow perch in Phillips.”

The 5-inch long tiger muskie came from the Wyoming Fish and Game Department, and ODFW biologists released the fish in several parts of the reservoir. Even at just 5-inches long, the fish already are highly piscivorous (fish-eating) and Bailey expects the tiger muskie to begin feeding on young perch almost immediately.

Illegal introduction of yellow perch decimates trout fishery

During the 1970s and 1980s, Phillips Reservoir was the region’s most popular trout fishery, averaging nearly 38,000 angler trips a year and trout that were 14 to 16-inches long. It also was an important economic driver in Baker County generating almost $1.5 million a year in economic activity.

However, the illegal introduction of yellow perch in the late 1980s or early 1990s had a decimating impact on the trout fishery as the perch out-competed trout for large zooplankton, a major food source for both species. Today, 77 percent of the fish in Phillips Reservoir are small yellow perch and the annual number of angler visits had plummeted to only 3,100 in 2010.

State, county and community develop restoration plan

In 2008 the Baker County Commission appointed an Advisory Committee to work with ODFW to develop and conduct an angler preference survey for Phillips Reservoir. The survey results showed a clear preference for a trout fishery, and ODFW staff and Committee members began to develop a game plan for controlling the perch population and restoring trout numbers.

According to Bailey, restoring the trout fishery in Phillips would not be as simple as poisoning the perch with rotenone or another fish toxicant and starting over. The reservoir’s complexity, the number of perch and its tolerance for rotenone called for a different solution.

“With the help of local anglers and members of the Advisory Committee we developed a multi-step plan for how to proceed,” he said.

That plan included:

  • Replacing fingerling-size stocked trout with larger catchable trout in 2004.
  • Introducing the aggressive, predatory tiger trout to create a trophy fishery in 2011.
  • The mechanical removal of yellow perch using trap nets. Since 2009 over 240,000 pounds of yellow perch have been removed.
  • Introduction of a top-line predator, tiger muskie, to prey directly on yellow perch in 2013.
In 2012, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission amended the state’s wildlife integrity rules to allow the introduction of tiger muskie into Phillips Reservoir. At this time, the rules restrict tiger muskie to Phillips Reservoir specifically to help control illegally introduced yellow perch.

Future tiger muskie fishery?

In their native range, tiger muskie reach prodigious size and are popular with anglers. In Phillips Reservoir, the harvest of tiger muskie will not be allowed – at least until they become well-established.

“Right now, the primary reason to have tiger muskie in Phillips Reservoir is to help control yellow perch populations,” Bailey said.

ODFW introduces Oregon’s first tiger muskie into Phillips Reservoir



Well-known member
April 22, 2016

Phillips Reservoir Tiger Muskie: Year Three
Following approval by the Commission in December 2012, tiger muskie were introduced into Phillips Reservoir to control an introduced population of yellow perch which has decimated a once very productive and popular fishery for rainbow trout. The fishery experienced a 90% decline in angler participation after yellow perch introduction. Tiger muskie have been utilized in reservoirs across the west to control over abundant prey species, and restore trout fisheries. Tiger muskie, a sterile hybrid produced by crossing muskellunge and northern pike, have been released into Phillips Reservoir for three consecutive years, 2013 – 2015. From 10,000 to 25,000, five inch tiger muskie juveniles have been released annually in late June or early July. A fourth release of 2,500, 10-12 inch tiger muskie is planned for October 2016. While some of the tiger muskie have survived and done quite well, as evidenced by the 30.5 inch three year old fish shown in the adjoining photograph, sampling by Grand Ronde Watershed District biologists suggests that survival of the released juveniles has been low. We suspect that a high percentage of the juveniles released are becoming prey to both avian and fish predators. We are adapting our approach based on current results from a five year monitoring and evaluation effort underway since 2013. Larger 10-12 inch tiger muskie are commonly released to overcome this predation issue, and will be our target for future releases.



Well-known member
Oh yeah. I remember that press release now. LOL

However according to that very press release, catching the Tiger Muskie's is illegal.


Active member
I watch all the TV shows catching pike and muskies back east but can you eat them? Some say too many bones and others say their slimy and disgusting. Sure look like a blast to catch, almost like a ling.
This is a 53 inch, 39 pounder I got in Washington bout 10 years ago and got a couple bigger. (Yes I know they were records and do not care about them) Muskies are great eating and cooked side by side with ling cod, people don't know which is which. Merwin, Mayfield, and Tapps are your best bets on the west side. The fish in Phillips did not fare very well so hopefully they'll put bigger fish in next time like they do in WA. If you fillet them, bones are not an issue. I fillet them just like salmon and steelhead. Before the 50 inch limit was imposed by the fishing vegetarians up there,( I have much different names for em that are not appropriate on here) I would keep several a year in the mid 40 inch range when they thicken up. Vibrax bucktails, spinnerbaits, rapalas, and swimbaits are some of your best lures for them. Hope that helps


Thanks. Depending on the spring, the bite usually comes on in May and runs good all the way into October. You'll find em mostly around structure by the shore, weed beds, flats, drop offs, and points.
Also Carpcommander, Lake Tapps is amazing for carp. Grew up catching monsters out of there. You can easily catch both in a day. May is when they spawn and it's a blast. If you want monster carp though nowadays, hit the culvert ponds on the Columbia
Hey thanks man, right on dude I apreciate it. I grew up in everette washington fishing for salmon off of boats eather around the sound or neah bay or canada. Wish I woulda tryed more fresh water while I lived up there... Only started freshwater fishing 11 years ago when I moved here mostly for bass and trout and more recently carp... Haha
Those are just all the ponds you see along the roads and highways that parallel the river that have just a culvert pipe running under the road between the 2. The delta ponds down by Eugene offer good carp fishin too. Any ponds off the Columbia will offer great bass and carp fishin starting in mid-late April
Hey man thank you, I appreciate it hah most people are like don't waste yur time with carp but plucking 10+lbs fish out of yur back yard? Why not.. Haha its relaxing and exciting at the same time
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