View Full Version : Hatchery or wild

01-28-2007, 08:37 AM
Since I am from New Mexico I never had to think too much about the difference between wild and hatchery trout. There are virtually no populations of catchable wild trout left in New Mex. There are some protected strains and some successful breeding programs but 90% of trout are hatchery bred. I wonder about CA. The big trout Froggie caught yesterday was a lot leaner and darker than the bows we've been catching this year. Since "she" was a female dripping big orange roe I just figured the different look was due to the spawn. (she was bleeding too bad to release) When I fileted her the meat was a lot paler and I swear the pin bones were located higher on the back than what I am used to. Any thoughts? (I can't post a pic til Froggie does her own post about her big un and she's still asleep.)
Tight lines

01-28-2007, 09:46 AM
Most of the larger rainbows in CA lakes are hold over stocked fish. Some of the rivers and streams still have wild populations.

The meat of spawning fish tends to be light since the pigment stored in the meat gets sequestered in the eggs of the females and the skin of the males when they color up for spawning.

01-28-2007, 12:06 PM
Thanks Doc, that explains it. I thought the situation here would be similar to NM. Is there a way to tell by looking if a fish is "wild"?

01-28-2007, 02:10 PM
Not really. Holdover fish grow their fins back and take on the shape of wild fish after a year or so in a lake.

01-28-2007, 06:23 PM
I assume that question. Or am I questioning assumptions. If your trout was stocked as a fingerling, 'sub-catchable' or even 'catchable' size (1/2 to 1 pound) without too much hatchery damage to tail or fins, it may well grow up to be indistinguishable from a wild fish. There are a lot of exceptions though-

I've caught 4-5 pound holdover rainbows on Tahoe that still have a stubbed pectoral fin; these fish are stocked at 8-12 inches and take a couple of years at least to grow to over 20 inches.

On the East Carson catch-and-release section I've caught the same holdover-hatchery rainbow twice, first in 2005 then again a year later in 2006, and let me tell you, that rounded tail was never gonna grow all the way back to square.

01-28-2007, 06:42 PM
I have a friend at the Fish Technology Center near Bozeman MT who works on trout nutrition. He tells me that it all has to do with what they feed on. If they eat mostly crayfish and minnows, the fins don't grow back very well. Poor fin growth is also characteristic of hold over fish that just don't get much food. Planted trout that feed well on insects grow their fins back quickly.

01-28-2007, 09:26 PM
So holdovers can spawn?

01-28-2007, 10:07 PM
So holdovers can spawn?
Yes they spawn if the conditions are right.

01-29-2007, 07:51 AM
Not to jack the thread but Doc, your sig is the infamous red X. I had the same problem, I'd fix it then it would come back again....whats up with that?

01-29-2007, 08:08 AM
It's just server traffic. If the images don't load within a short period of time, you get the red x.

We really need to do something about the size of signature images on these boards. Some are way too big and that is part of the problem.

End of hijack.

01-29-2007, 10:39 AM
What type of conditions need to be met? For example the lakes in So. Cal. don't really have much of a year round stream/creek or riverf. They usually only get water when it rains. Yet at Lake Cachuma over the last month or so I've caught some trout that were full of roe that looked ready to spawn. Looked about 1/2-3/4 the size of a salmon egg.

01-29-2007, 10:47 AM
To clarify things:

A planter is a fish put into a body of water by DFG or another organization. A holdover is the same fish that makes it through a season and continues to grow and act more like a wild fish. A native fish is one that belongs to a species that has historically been in a body of water and was not put there by man. So my question is the wild trout. I consider a brown in streams that they do not naturally occur wild, because they have been there for many generations. I don't believe a holdover can ever be considered wild but I do think that it's offspring can. What are your thoughts?

01-29-2007, 10:55 AM
mtalley, I'm with you. If it was created in a hatchery it is just that a hatchery fish. If it was created in the wild it is a wild fish. If it existed before man came along it is a native. 8-)