This fall, fishing at Badwater Pond for tiger muskie might land you some fish you can take home. Tiger muskies have been stocked by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the Pond since 2015, and finally, some are large enough to keep.
Badwater Pond, located 3.5 miles north of the town of Shoshoni, has been stocked with close to 750 tiger muskie since 2015. The fish are a sterile hybrid cross between northern pike and muskellunge. They were stocked in the Pond to reduce the numbers of juvenile carp and to create a fun fishing opportunity.
Trend data for Badwater Pond show that the number and size of tiger muskie has increased since 2017 (Figure 1). Tiger muskie must be at least 36 inches to harvest and sampling efforts this June showed the largest measuring 37.5 inches, meaning many of them are now long enough for you to take home. Tiger muskie grow very fast so it is likely that even some in Badwater Pond would also qualify for the 38 inches they need to be for the Game and Fish’s Master Angler Program.
The muskie are also doing their job by reducing the number of juvenile carp in the Pond, as juvenile carp abundance and length have decreased since 2017 (Figures 2 and 3) reflecting increased predation from tiger muskie on small-sized fish. Trend data will continue to be monitored to determine if tiger muskie can eradicate carp from this small pond. Tiger muskie may become easier to catch as forage like the carp become less abundant. Fall provides a good opportunity to catch fish and may be a good time to fish Badwater Pond.