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Joni 01-27-2012 10:14 AM

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
Sea Trout all species.

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?

mcnerney 01-27-2012 10:22 AM

Re: Trout?
Joni: Very interesting information, but now my head hurts! :D

wannafish 01-27-2012 12:23 PM

Re: Trout?
I had never heard that brook trout were char before a post by Hardy Reels where he mentions it in passing; I expect he's done some research on this as well.

dhayden 01-27-2012 12:32 PM

Re: Trout?
I think Bull Trout - are char too..

stimulator2 01-27-2012 12:38 PM

Re: Trout?
I knew Brook trout were a char but the rest is confusing.I have heard that there are two strains of brook trout here in WNC , a northern strain and a southern strain and that both are in the GSMNP as well as some of the surrounding area.I do know that i have caught different Specks in different straems so maybe there is something to that..

mikel 01-27-2012 12:40 PM

Re: Trout?
I think bull trout are char as well...

Also, folks here think Kokanee are trout, while they are landlocked Sockeye (right?).


Rip Tide 01-27-2012 12:50 PM

Re: Trout?
I was just trying to convince my fishing partner yesterday that we needed to go on an expedition this spring to catch the ultra-rare blueback trout. A land locked arctic char :D

madjoni 01-27-2012 12:57 PM

Re: Trout?
I think that you guys should bring some ichthyologist on the forum and that would be educative :cool:
I know thing or two about european trouts and I put it here

Jimmie 01-27-2012 01:45 PM

Re: Trout?
"receeding glaciers of the ice age" would have been a really good time to buy a lifetime fishing license.

milt spawn 01-28-2012 01:53 AM

Re: Trout?
Or you could just beg, borrow, or steal a copy of the quintessential book, Trout and Salmon of North America. It does cover splake and tigers, but it probably does not have any info about palominos. milt.

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