FISHING — A standing offer to replicate the first 50-inch tiger musky caught and released in a Washington tiger musky tournament was honored this week.
In September, Chris Gades of St. Maries caught a 50-incher in Muskies Inc. tourney at Curlew Lake. It wasn’t just big for the area. According to Muskies Inc., it’s the biggest tiger musky recorded in North America in 2011.
Gade, a Colvile native, unhooked the fish, measured it, posed it for a photo and released it unharmed in the lake, as required in the tournament.
Lax Reproductions of Conover, Wis., came through with its promise to honor this milestone fish. Using the photos Gades provided, the company prepared a replica of the lunker, which was presented to Gades by Doug Wood of Spokane, president of the Mountain Muskies Chapter.
A tiger musky is a sterile cross between a northern pike and a muskellunge. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has planted the hybrids in seven lakes in the state to control rough fish and provide a trophy fishing opportunity.
Washington rules require any tiger musky less than 50 inches long to be released alive, but tournament anglers release all of their fish.