Thread: Trout?
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:14 AM
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Default Trout?

On another forum, a question was asked as to ones favorite "Trout" to catch. The list was:

Lake Trout
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat and all sub species.
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
SteelHead
Palamino
Char
Sea Trout all species.
Tiger

I just casually answered with a few of those are not really trout, so it sparked one poster to do some research and this is what he came up with:


"It turned into a debate about what is a trout and what isn’t. Since then I've been doing some research on the scientific meaning of trout. A very complicated subject to say the least. I knew enough about the classification of species that there can only be one true trout. Just because we generally recognize some fish as a trout doesn't necessarily mean they are a trout. I've always thought of the true trout as being from the genus Oncorhynchus which includes the rainbows and cutthroats. This assumption was probably due from being raised in the Pacific Northwest. Well after reading hundreds of pages on the subject I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. The true trout comes from the genus Salmo which include the Atlantic salmon and Brown Trout as drowning flys had pointed out. Interesting enough even rainbows where classified under the genus Salmo until it was discovered they were more closely related to the Pacific salmon in the 20th century. All the info I read was best summed by Ken Schultz in his book Field Guide to Freshwater Fish, page 224. I would encourage anyone interested in the subject to look it up. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission also has a good explanation of the taxonomy of fish at:
PFBC Question and Answer - Brook Trout or Char
Another interesting thing I came across is that there is a good chance the genus Salvelinus(Char) is probably a descendant of a “trout” from California. The theory goes that the “trout” followed the receding glaciers north after the last ice age. They eventually got stranded in the interior of what now is Canada and became what we know them as today. And of the 25 species of Char that I can find, 15 are commonly referred to as “trout”.
So how confusingcan this be? Scientifically you could say the Atlantic salmon is a trout and a Lohontan Cutthroat Trout is a salmon and be correct. That’s how confusing! "




So what do you all think, did he answer his quest, or is there more to it?
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