|Kelly Parry from Bluffdale caught this Tiger muskie in Pineview Reservoir, east of Ogden it was 33 pounds and 49 inches in length. Tiger Muskie may be introduced into Joe's Valley if it is agreeable to everyone. Public input is welcome.|
Joe's Valley Reservoir is often the topic of conversation at the Emery County Public Lands Council. In the March meeting, Justin Hart, from the Division of Wildlife Resources introduced some ideas they are kicking around concerning Joe's Valley fishery. They have worked for several years to improve Joe's Valley with the netting of chubs and regulations concerning fishing limits.
The division is getting away from stocking rainbow and cutthroat and have concentrated on stocking splake.
At Joe's Valley currently you can only keep two fish and only one over 22 inches. The fish 15-22 inches need to go back into the lake. This is a slot limit which protects big fish and is restrictive. Joe's Valley still has a lot of chubs. The splake are supposed to be eating the chubs and they are.
Hart proposed that Joe's Valley move to a four fish limit and you can keep one over 18 inches in length. The change will still be accomplished with the splake eating chubs. Hart said, "We want to discuss it with people. We hope to draw interest to Joe's Valley. The second change we are considering is the introduction of the tiger muskie."
Hart said tiger muskies get very large and grow quickly and are a great sport fish. They are sterile and a good predator. They will help to eat the chubs at Joe's Valley. Hart said they hope the tiger muskies will help attract people to Joe's Valley.
At Joe's Valley there aren't a lot of options to stocking fish. Any introduction of new species which interferes with threatened or endangered species in the Colorado River aren't allowed in any of the tributaries.
The tiger muskie is a good fit for Joe's Valley because it is sterile. "It will take three-five years to develop. The muskie will eat chubs all year round. If the chubs are reduced, we can start putting other species back into Joe's Valley including rainbows and natives.
After the muskies establish then a rule might be imposed that you could only keep one fish over 42 inches.
The muskie will come from a hatchery in Nebraska and could be introduced as early as this fall if everyone is in agreement on the introduction. The DWR is also looking at raising their own brood muskies. The trouble with them, Hart said is they feed on each other. They grow fast and it will take several years, but they could be a good addition to Joe's Valley.
Hart said they are going to introduce the idea to the Southeastern RAC in May. If it meets everyone's approval the muskie may be introduced later this fall.