Hey all you ichthyological experts...Last year I was fishing the N. Fork of the Clearwater in Idaho and pulled this in. Is it a "Redband Trout" by chance? Or just a juvenile Rainbow (white on fin tips has me asking)?
Thanks for the feedback...As i said, the white fin tips is what i was going by which is supposedly the big differentiator, I'll look over the rainbow photos. Thanks for the tips!
Okay, so I looked over the link as suggested and even found another just below it for discussion: Rainbow Trout Pics Rainbow Trout Pics
(didn't want to snag their photos for this thread so pasted links)
My question then is "what exactly differentiates the two related species?"
From what I have read (all I have to go by). To quote Wikipedia (the source for all misinformation) in that it mimics those of wildlife biologists: The redband trout is generally similar in appearance to the coastal rainbow trout (O. m. irideus) but has larger, more rounded spots, parr marks that tend to remain into adulthood, are more orange-red around the lateral line and have very distinct white tips on the anal, dorsal and pectoral fins.
The two links above show fish with rather blending/faded white at the tips. Though impossible to see clearly the fish I show above had white marks as distinct as a Brook Trout. Granted, juveniles are poor examples, and water and what they're feeding on can affect color intensity dramatically (or so I understand).
So what do I need to be looking for in the future? Better yet, does anyone have an obvious photo of a Redband to share as an example?
Interesting question here; what's their range? Know there are plenty of them in the Deschutes but don't recall a reference to them (as a fishery) anywhere else.
In Idaho specifically:
A bit of a long read from the "Clearwater Subbasin Assessment" PDF (an awesome bit of public information when hunting down specific species):
8.1.5 Redband (Rainbow) Trout
Redband trout are thought to represent the resident form of steelhead trout in areas where they coexist (or coexisted historically), although the subspecies also exists in areas outside the historic range of steelhead trout (Behnke 1992). Redband trout are considered a species of special concern by the American Fisheries Society and the state of Idaho, and are classified as a sensitive species by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (Quigley and Arbelbide 1997).
Although redband trout likely existed historically throughout the Clearwater subbasin (Quigley and Arbelbide 1997), little is known about the current distribution or status of redband trout populations in the subbasin. One reason for the lack of information is the inability to differentiate juvenile steelhead and resident redband trout phenotypically, and coexistence of the two subspecies throughout most of the Clearwater subbasin complicates efforts to gather information on redband trout population(s).
Hybridization of redband trout and stocked rainbow trout is common (Quigley and Arbelbide 1997), and often leads to questions over the genetic integrity of existing redband trout population(s). In the North Fork Clearwater drainage, where steelhead trout have been excluded by Dworshak dam, potential hybridization with stocked rainbow trout leaves the current distribution of redband trout in question. Methodology using DNA markers exists to differentiate redband trout from the common coastal rainbow stocks that have been used for hatchery stocking. For example, initial results from a study conducted by Mays (2001) in the Salmon River, suggests few genetic introgression legacy effects from past stocking of exotic trout in redband waters. There remains a need to identify the genetic integrity of redband populations in the Clearwater subbasin in areas naturally or artificially blocked, heavily or sparsely stocked, and where they are sympatric with or isolated from steelhead.
---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:46 AM ----------
Originally Posted by mridenour
I was going to chime in with rainbow but noticed that you were asking "experts" and that pretty much rules me out of any topic of conversation.
If you can discuss it without saying "um" 20x and not drool then you're more of an expert then I am
I am from spokane and we have a ton of red bands in our river and to be honest at that age it would be hard to tell even at a older age it would be that have a extra fin and are a little brighter. I don't know the name of the fin but that is how you can tell them a part they are a native fish here and we have signs posted all over. Don't know if this really helped but I tried.