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River: Big Thompson River - Canyon

Odd day on Big Thompson

Post By: troutfinder      Posted: 6/26/2018 7:48:17 AM     Points: 51    
after fishing a small creek in the park, I stopped at the tailwater below the lake on saturday afternoon. After fishing there for 10 years, saturday I was surprised to catch a tiger trout below the bridge by the dam. Question do tigers occur naturally or only hatchery bred? I assume it washed down from the lake but I have never heard any mention of tigers in the lake. Anyway, then I'm walking back downstream to my car and I see a guy out ahead of me with rod bent in half and huge splashing and the guy is backing up quickly horsing this thing onto the bank. from a distance I see at least a 2 foot long fish flop on the bank for a couple seconds. He drops his rod and kind of tries to pounce on it but he slips in mud and goes down and the fish is gone. I catch up to him and say 'how big was that trout' and he says 'Muskie!'. Does that seem possible from that lake? maybe it all happened fast and it was actually a pike?
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 6/26/2018 8:25:57 AM     Points: 7977    
Both Tiger Musky and Tiger Trout have been stocked up there to help take down the sucker problems...they can and have been pushed thru the dam in the past. The lake page says that both were last stocked in 2015. how big was your tiger trout?
 Reply by: troutfinder      Posted: 6/26/2018 8:32:42 AM     Points: 51    
10 inches only...with an odd hard bulge in his middle like a snake after eating a meal
 Reply by: crazypickles      Posted: 6/26/2018 8:34:40 AM     Points: 127    
I caught a walleye in that tail water, true story.
 Reply by: mjo      Posted: 6/26/2018 12:34:38 PM     Points: 71    
There's more to this story. Can't tell it on the internets, unfortunately.
 Reply by: mjo      Posted: 6/26/2018 12:54:45 PM     Points: 71    
Walleye were stocked into Lake Estes at one point. A lot of things have been stocked in there in attempts to control suckers. Most recently, sterile predators have been the CPW's tool. Splake and the two tigers.

Tiger trout can occur naturally, I've read, but it's rare. The chromosome count does not match, survival of fertilized eggs is poor without intervention. Probably a few brookies end up down in the lake but it's safe to assume any tiger trout in Lake Estes are from the 2015 stocking.