General picture of a Tiger musky


    The habitat of the Tiger Musky is very similar to that of its parents, the northern pike and the musky. Tiger muskies are found all throughout the Great Lakes region and up into Canada where pike and musky populations interact.  Tiger muskies are rarely found elsewhere unless stocked for game or to control populations of other fish. They prefer fresh and clear water where they can roam the weed beds in search of prey.  Tiger musky habitat

     The optimal temperature of the water for these great game fish is 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit (Scott 1964). It has been recorded that as these temperatures decrease the growth patterns of tiger musky decline. However, as the temperature increases so does the cannibalism rate. Compared to the hybrids parents, the northern pike and musky, the tiger musky is more stable in environmental changes (Scott 1964). This gives the hybrid a more diverse habitat then its parents.

Figure 4. Labeled in red are different regions and bodies of water where tiger muskies can be found.

     The tiger musky’s migrating patterns are based on seasonal changes.  In the fall and summer months these fish tend to prefer a habitat where waters range from 6-9 ft. They prefer these shallow waters due to the pond weed that they can lurk in. This foliage helps them perform many of their predation behaviors, talked about on our predation page, without being seen. Tiger muskies depend on heavy vegetation, stumps, and logs, which they can dwell under (Wahl and Stein 1988).  Also, their desire for food is great during these months, which force them to come up in search of gizzard shad and other types of fish.  In the winter and spring seasons the tiger musky tend to live in more open waters where the depth ranges from 16-32 ft.  They go much deeper in these months because their desire for food and their metabolism greatly decreases.  Studies showed that during the fall and summer months the tiger musky stayed in an area of about 120 acres (Willoughbyy 2013).  However, during the colder winter and spring seasons the tiger musky increased their roaming area to 340 acres (Willoughbyy 2013).  This was the same from year to year, which is very similar to the seasonal patterns that its parents, the northern pike and musky, display.

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