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A tiger muskie is a cross between a Northern pike and a muskellunge (more commonly referred to as a "muskie"). Tiger muskies are sterile fish that can't reproduce. Utah has a disease-free population of Northern pike in Recapture Reservoir in southeastern Utah. But the state doesn't have any muskies. And finding disease-free muskies outside of Utah is getting harder.
"We recently learned that muskies we were going to get from Nebraska have a virus that could harm many of Utah's native fish species," says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
"Leatherside chub and least chub -- two species that are on Utah's Sensitive Species List -- are among the fish in Utah that could be affected by this virus," he says. "We know a lot of anglers are going to be disappointed, but we canít afford to bring this virus into the state."
DWR biologists are continuing to look for muskies outside the state. But diseases that are spreading through the Midwestern and Eastern parts of the country are making it difficult to find muskies that are free of disease, Cushing says.
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