CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Aquatic biologists have every right to brag about their catches!
On Wednesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife shared a picture of a 44-inch tiger muskie. The massive fished weighed in at 22 pounds and was caught by Aquatic Biologist Carrie Tucker. Tucker was out for a gillnet survey at Deweese Reservoir just north of Westcliffe.
According to CPW, gillnets are a passive fishing gear consisting of panels of net held vertically in the water column typically in contact with the lakebed, such that fish attempting to swim through the net are entangled. Fish are held behind the gill plate as the head passes through the net. The mesh size of the net determines the size range of fish caught. The standard gill net is 6 feet tall by 150 feet long, with 6 different mesh sizes to gauge all sizes of fish in particular water. Because fish inhabiting colder waters grow at slower rates (ex. Dillon Reservoir), gillnets deployed at higher altitudes have slightly smaller mesh compared with the mesh sizes used in warmer lakes (ex. Pueblo Reservoir). To minimize mortality, gillnets are typically set in the late evening and pulled early the following morning. Gillnets efficiently target adult walleye, wiper, lake trout, rainbow trout, suckers, common carp, and gizzard shad. The number of gillnet sets during a survey is dependent on the particular lake acreage.