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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-20-2013, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

I can't see the pictures, but I have fished the north fork of the tongue before. I am guessing the cutts are either yellowstones or snake rivers. This is actually a drainage that yellowstones are native to.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

Can't see them, but apparently the two administrators can. Must be a privacy settings issue.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

OP here, album is now public so that should solve why some couldn't see the pics?

Thanks for the replies thus far, I agree with those who think the third is probably a snake river cutt, after looking at Larry's links and doing some more research.

I hesitated posting the first pic because of the damage to the upper and lower fins. I suspect said damage was present prior to hookup as he was that way when I pulled him from the water. I even thought maybe his lack of color and physical damage may have been related (some sort of sickness).
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

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Originally Posted by 4peace1piece View Post
The first three trout were all pulled from the same stretch of the Tongue River in northern Wyoming, the last one one was caught from a beaver pond in the Vedauwoo area of southern Wyoming. The first three all appear to be different types of cutthroat (the third is presumed to be a cuttbow), and the last was suspected to be a brook until someone told me it was a splake?

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

First one is a stocker rainbow no doubt. The peck fins being worn like that show he was in a concrete enclosure for a good part of his life. Same with his color being that dull. He has been beaten up in the hatchery.

Second one looks like a young rainbow to me. The blue ovals on the sides lead me to believe that.

The third one I may call a cuttbow but if so it is like a third or fourth generation that slit isn't very big and most of them I catch it is very pronounced.

As for the fourth one I could say it is a brookie. It doesn't have the deep v tail like a laker would have but it may be a splake. I am up in the air about that one.

Take this with a grain of salt as I am no fish biologist. That is what I would classify them as.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

I would say 1&2 are cuties 3 is a bow and 4 is a large speckle


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Old 09-20-2013, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

Yellowstone cutthroat
Yellowstone cutthroat
Snake-River Finespotted cutthroat, with some possible slight hybridization (some rainbow trout probably jumped pens in the hatchery back in '93).
Brook trout
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

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Originally Posted by Poke 'Em View Post
Yellowstone cutthroat
Yellowstone cutthroat
Snake-River Finespotted cutthroat, with some possible slight hybridization (some rainbow trout probably jumped pens in the hatchery back in '93).
Brook trout
You sound like you know something about the stocking history of the Tongue? I'm interested in anything additional you can tell me about those efforts? Are the Yellowstone cutts native and the Snake River cutts stocked?
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

I still can't see yours, but here a two pictures of the Wyoming Ghost Trout that I've caught. You have to be able to cast to a rising fish, and release the fly by feel, but these two were worth the effort:






And the nicest one:









Thanks for looking.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

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Originally Posted by 4peace1piece View Post
You sound like you know something about the stocking history of the Tongue? I'm interested in anything additional you can tell me about those efforts? Are the Yellowstone cutts native and the Snake River cutts stocked?
Yellowstone Cutthroats are almost certainly native to the headwaters Tongue River drainage. While there's no scientific documentation of their presence prior to the stocking of non-native fish, General George Crook made reference in his diary in June 1876 to his men catching numerous spotted trout, and this would seem to predate any stocking in the region. (As an interesting side note, had Crook's men not been enjoying themselves fishing, they might have made it to the Battle of Little Bighorn a few days sooner, and you might never have heard of George Custer).

Though it's possible that the cutthroat may have made it into the Tongue via a headwaters transfer, the prevailing theory is that during a cool period they migrated down the Yellowstone River to the Tongue, before migrating back up to the mountains. When the climate warmed, they became isolated.

Anyway, some time near the end of the 19th century (stocking records aren't completely clear), non-native, hatchery cutthroats (likely a combination of YSC and Snake River Finespotted Cutthroats) and brook trout were stocked into the Tongue drainage, and the native fish began to disappear. For the first several decades of fish stocking, there was rarely any distinction between cutthroat varieties, and Snake River Cutts made up a big chunk of hatchery-raised cutthroats (they take better to hatchery conditions than any of the other subspecies). Also, beginning in the late '30s, rainbows began to be stocked into at least some tributaries of the Tongue River.

Only recently has the WGFD ceased the stocking of non-native trout and begun stocking only "native" Yellowstone Cutthroats. Two years ago, for example, the river was stocked with 10,000 YSCs as part of an attempt to essentially overrun the non-native fish with replacement natives.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Species identification questions

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Originally Posted by Poke 'Em View Post
Yellowstone Cutthroats are almost certainly native to the headwaters Tongue River drainage. While there's no scientific documentation of their presence prior to the stocking of non-native fish, General George Crook made reference in his diary in June 1876 to his men catching numerous spotted trout, and this would seem to predate any stocking in the region. (As an interesting side note, had Crook's men not been enjoying themselves fishing, they might have made it to the Battle of Little Bighorn a few days sooner, and you might never have heard of George Custer).

Though it's possible that the cutthroat may have made it into the Tongue via a headwaters transfer, the prevailing theory is that during a cool period they migrated down the Yellowstone River to the Tongue, before migrating back up to the mountains. When the climate warmed, they became isolated.

Anyway, some time near the end of the 19th century (stocking records aren't completely clear), non-native, hatchery cutthroats (likely a combination of YSC and Snake River Finespotted Cutthroats) and brook trout were stocked into the Tongue drainage, and the native fish began to disappear. For the first several decades of fish stocking, there was rarely any distinction between cutthroat varieties, and Snake River Cutts made up a big chunk of hatchery-raised cutthroats (they take better to hatchery conditions than any of the other subspecies). Also, beginning in the late '30s, rainbows began to be stocked into at least some tributaries of the Tongue River.

Only recently has the WGFD ceased the stocking of non-native trout and begun stocking only "native" Yellowstone Cutthroats. Two years ago, for example, the river was stocked with 10,000 YSCs as part of an attempt to essentially overrun the non-native fish with replacement natives.
This was a superb post, thanks Poke'em.
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