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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:41 PM
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Smile Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

Absolutely...bull trout juveniles. True, bull trout have more fan tail than forked but juveniles typically start with the shallow v as you see in the pics. Laker juvies...are for sure forked...right from parr to juvie to adult.

Another diagnostic..and one the takes them away from being splakes as well (by the way, Splake? really....who stocks splake any more...really, anywhere? THAT's a waste of tax payer money right there ..ahem...where were we...oh yeah) .

The leading edge of the pectoral and pelvic fins....is white. Lakers...don't have a leading edge colour. And if splake (which is SPeckled <brook> trout and LAKE trout), the leading edge is black then white (look at your brookie pics).

Another...head shape....bullet not pointed...diagnostic for both brookie and bulls (and Dollys and Arctic Char too, by the way). Strange, this diagnostic...as for much of the char family, blunt is it for juvies...EXCEPT Lakers

'Course, if I could cut em open, I could tell if they were hybrids also by counting pyloric ceaca....but thats for another day....

Bull trout...and as we say...no black, put it back (regarding the black leading edge)

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Oh and I meant to come back to this. Interestingly enough...your post title says it all...."Interesting ALPINE Fish". Until 1978, bull trout were thought to be 'just' mountain...or ALPINE Dolly Varden. Now, we know better (don't we?)...Dollies are NOT Bull Trout..and bulls are not splake...errr, I mean...Dollies.

Last edited by king joe; 06-09-2013 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Missed one other point
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2013, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

They resemble Dolly varden (white spot char) in a post juvenile stage of growth. I don't think there are bull trout in CO. and I wouldn't know why even a state department of F&G would introduce Lake Trout into streams like you have pictured.

Likewise, I am not sure of the existence of Dolly varden in your area but I've caught quite a bunch of them and your fish look similar to young char. Most especially the first 2 pictures of them. I believe the way to solve the issue would be to e-mail attached pictures to your regional biologist there. I have developed good rapport with my state biologists from Skwentna to Kodiak, it's a big help in many ways.

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Old 06-10-2013, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

first thought I had was splake. I have caught many of them off of the Grand Mesa.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by king joe View Post
Another diagnostic..and one the takes them away from being splakes as well (by the way, Splake? really....who stocks splake any more...really, anywhere? THAT's a waste of tax payer money right there ..ahem...where were we...oh yeah) .

The leading edge of the pectoral and pelvic fins....is white. Lakers...don't have a leading edge colour. And if splake (which is SPeckled <brook> trout and LAKE trout), the leading edge is black then white (look at your brookie pics).
Huh?

Maybe these are just really big brookies, but...

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
They resemble Dolly varden (white spot char) in a post juvenile stage of growth. I don't think there are bull trout in CO. and I wouldn't know why even a state department of F&G would introduce Lake Trout into streams like you have pictured.

Likewise, I am not sure of the existence of Dolly varden in your area but I've caught quite a bunch of them and your fish look similar to young char. Most especially the first 2 pictures of them. I believe the way to solve the issue would be to e-mail attached pictures to your regional biologist there. I have developed good rapport with my state biologists from Skwentna to Kodiak, it's a big help in many ways.

Ard
I have done so, and this is not the first time he has seen similar fish. The problem is ... he does not definitively know the answer either. There is no stocking of any sort in the particular drainage we were fishing. It has been forwarded to the state biologist.

If we don't get anywhere, I might have to go clip a fin Oh woe is me, more fishing!
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

My first guess would have been lake trout.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

Most certainly it is a char.

I would have agreed with Kelly on it being a bull trout (or dolly as the sea-run are called). Countr21 sounds like he knows about the stocking programs and has also caught them, so I agree, Lake Trout.

I also echo Ard in wondering why in hell a state Fish and Game agency would be stocking Lake Trout in the alpine.

---------- Post added at 02:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:56 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by king joe View Post
Absolutely...bull trout juveniles. True, bull trout have more fan tail than forked but juveniles typically start with the shallow v as you see in the pics. Laker juvies...are for sure forked...right from parr to juvie to adult.\
Sorry Joe but the Bull Trout's historical range does not reach to the East Slope of the Rockies. The furthest E that bullies go is Alberta.

There is just no way these are bull trout. And a lot of your I.D. clues are not full proof. Bull Trout actually do have "pointed" heads and as Poke 'Em pointed out, Lakers do not have black lead edges.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

If we're resorting to guessing, I'm guessing Splake.

Actively raised and stocked here in Utah, and currently Utah is trading alpine fish stocks with Wyoming and Colorado for Golden Trout and various strains of Cutthroat Trout. Maybe Splake were part of the deal?

Just a guess... but I doubt they are Bull Trout given the location.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

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Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
If we're resorting to guessing, I'm guessing Splake.

Actively raised and stocked here in Utah, and currently Utah is trading alpine fish stocks with Wyoming and Colorado for Golden Trout and various strains of Cutthroat Trout. Maybe Splake were part of the deal?

Just a guess... but I doubt they are Bull Trout given the location.
It's not unheard of for a few random "stragglers" get mixed in with another batch of fish in a hatchery.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Alpine Fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
Most certainly it is a char.

I would have agreed with Kelly on it being a bull trout (or dolly as the sea-run are called). Countr21 sounds like he knows about the stocking programs and has also caught them, so I agree, Lake Trout.

I also echo Ard in wondering why in hell a state Fish and Game agency would be stocking Lake Trout in the alpine.

---------- Post added at 02:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:56 PM ----------



Sorry Joe but the Bull Trout's historical range does not reach to the East Slope of the Rockies. The furthest E that bullies go is Alberta.

There is just no way these are bull trout. And a lot of your I.D. clues are not full proof. Bull Trout actually do have "pointed" heads and as Poke 'Em pointed out, Lakers do not have black lead edges.
It's a little off-topic, but Dolly Varden are NOT sea-run bull trout. In fact, Dolly Varden may not be sea-run at all, and some bull trout populations do go to the sea.

And Alberta would be the east slope of the rockies...
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