Efforts by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to produce a homegrown source of tiger muskie has encountered a number of setbacks throughout the past few years, but none were as substantial as the recent removal of the brood stock source from the Lee Kay warmwater ponds by greedy anglers. This is a crazy story and a shame after all the effort biologists have put into the program.
Much of the criticism about the lack of "no fishing" signs and fencing around the ponds has fallen on the aquatics section of the DWR. While the finger pointing can start with aquatics, it should not be limited to that department. From the start the upper managment levels of the DWR have provided little support for the warmwater ponds at Lee Kay. Fisheries biologists have been working with limited money, supplies and support to stock Utah's water with tiger muskie.
I shared those thoughts with DWR director Greg Sheehan, who took over the agency this past winter. He agreed with the assesment and said things would change. He told me he is committed to getting the tiger muskie program back online as quickly as possible, which will likely mean bringing in fingerling from other sources until brood stock fish can be purchased or grown.
The video was produced when the Lee Kay ponds received their first batch of tiger muskie in 2009.