Comparative growth and survival of 8.9 and 17.8 cm (3.5 and 7.0 inch) tiger muskellunge planted in a small lake with forage fishes

For three consecutive years identical numbers of “early-plant” (about 8 9 cm total length) and “normal-plant” (about 17. 8 cm total length) tiger muskellunge fingerlings were stocked in 6.1-ha Daggett Lake with bluegills and minnows as forage. Survival of all three early plants was considerably higher (mean 36. 0%) than survival of normal plants (mean 15.1%), and was comparable with the survival of northern pike planted at 8. 9 cm. There was no significant difference in the mean lengths of surviving early- and normal-plant tiger muskies at age I and II. In fish populations with low predator densities (less than 15 fish per hectare), it may be biologically and economically sound to stock tiger musky fingerlings at 8. 9 cm rather than at a larger size.