1. That could be a young tiger muskie. They look alot of like when young but giving that has a light background and dark markings I would say it is a baby Tiger. Baby pike do have solid stripes that seperate as they get older.
2. If that is a pike, you may have just told a lot of people about it that didn't know and could get a lot of unwanted pressure to your water.
3. Did those ponds suffer and damage from the flood? If so, it could be a transplant.
Bottom line, well done on the catch, if it is indeed a tiger, you should be proud, they are VERY hard to catch even for experience anglers.
the juvenile pike in the link you posted looks like his pic...I dunno. Is there a sure fire way of telling a juvenile tiger and pike apart? also, I don't know if prospect was damaged by floods. I guess I just assumed everything up that way pretty much was lol
Wow, I was looking at the markings on the big guys. That juvi pike does look alot like his fish. This thread could get interesting. We need FISHSEAL or SWIGS to chime in. Now I'm really confused. I always based the fish off of the color of the stripes vs the background.
here is the best way to tell. Learned this last year from FxR
count the number of pores on the underside of the lower jaw. These pores are minute sensory openings on the outer edges under the jaw. The northern pike will have no more than five of these tiny holes. The muskellunge will have at least six, and sometimes as many as nine. This is the surest way to determine one from the other
Okay, so, let me do a bit of clarification on both parts. :)
First, pike weren't in Prospect Ponds (Fort Collins) for many many years. I know, because I used to fish them regularly. However, it has been a few years and there are only two ways they can get in there. One, bucket biology - which I despise. Two, through the canal and river. The flooding really mixed things up fish wise and the Poudre flows right through there. Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens. Their main forage will eventually become the shad and sunfish (bluegill, green sunfish, and small bass).
Second, as for identification, Anglerwannabe has the majority of the information and just needs a bit of added detail. There will be 10 total pores (not so small, but appear as "holes" in the bottom jaw) in northern pike, 5 on each side. Musky have 12 to 18 total, 6 to 9 on each side. Tiger muskie can have any of those, because it is a hybrid.
However, here is why I think it is a pike, first, tiger muskie are expensive, so I would've expected signs to be posted so people don't harvest the small tiger muskie. Second, signs would be posted because you can't "take" a tiger muskie until it is 36" and greater. :) Biologically, I don't think the CPW would have added tiger muskie because the dynamics of the Prospect ponds were good prior to the flooding. Also, tiger muskie are typically added when there is an imbalance with suckers... not shad. As there really aren't any suckers in the prospect ponds, it just doesn't make sense.
So, I say small pike... hopefully from the flood. The ponds are not the best location as they don't fluctuate a lot and spawning material is scarce. Growth would be awesome as there are some shallow areas and good forage right now, but those ponds will not be able to sustain a whole lot. Now, this is just my opinion, so, I can be wrong. :)
Reply by: FishSeal Posted: 5/23/2014 10:41:22 AM Points: 3316
Follow up post.
So, when I checked Prospect Ponds (FC) species list, tiger muskie are listed. However, I can't find any stocking records and would have to call one of the biologists to find out. Or hopefully, Swigs will chime in to confirm. All the places that I know of, that have tiger muskie have signs indicating such.
PikeNColorado - Does Lake Estes have a sign? I'm curious if there are some locations that don't have signage now.