Odd looking trout...

ottosmagic13

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So I caught this little guy while social distancing today. Any idea what happened?


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Ard

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Scoliosis I believe. Somewhat common in hatchery trout, by common I don't mean to suggest rampant. It can occur in wild stocks also and if I recall one of the causes can be extreme low ph. It was one of the things noted in Adirondack brook trout populations and the ph was being raised by sulfur dioxide among other gases coming from power plants in the Ohio River Valley.
 
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silver creek

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A second possibility is that the trout suffered a spine fracture during a fisheries stream shocking survey.

(PDF) Spinal Injury Rates in Three Wild Trout Populations in Colorado after Eight Years of Backpack Electrofishing

"We examined long-term effects of annual intensive backpack electrofishing on rates of spinal injury and population abundance of three salmonid and one catostomid species in three small northern Colorado streams and compared rates of externally evident injuries to actual injuries determined by X ray. After 6–8 years of annual three-pass removal electrofishing, injury rates for brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in treatment sections of two streams averaged 10.4% and 12.3%, but were 0% in previously unshocked controls. In a third stream containing all species in sympatry, longnose suckers Catostomus catostomus sustained the highest average injury rates (9.6%), followed by brown trout Salmo trutta (6.9%), rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (4.0%), and brook trout (3.5%). These rates were based on external evaluation and probably greatly underestimated actual rates of healed injuries because 44% of X-rayed fish with no externally evident spinal injury showed previous injury. Despite the high incidence of spinal injury, abundance of all salmonid species remained stable or increased in the three streams during the 8-year study, which indicated that there were no detectable adverse population effects of repeated electrofishing. In contrast, abundance of longnose sucker declined significantly. Our results indicate that spinal injuries accumulated over time and that species probably differ in susceptibility to the deleterious effects of electrofishing."
 

weiliwen

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I remember a picture from an old (and I mean late 60's or early 70's) issue of Salmon Trout Steelheader, that featured a guy with a stringer of fish that looked similar, The explanation was that the lake they were caught from was so rich, that fish just got football-shaped from overeating. I somehow doubt that was a scientific explanation...
 

ottosmagic13

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A second possibility is that the trout suffered a spine fracture during a fisheries stream shocking survey.

(PDF) Spinal Injury Rates in Three Wild Trout Populations in Colorado after Eight Years of Backpack Electrofishing

"We examined long-term effects of annual intensive backpack electrofishing on rates of spinal injury and population abundance of three salmonid and one catostomid species in three small northern Colorado streams and compared rates of externally evident injuries to actual injuries determined by X ray. After 6–8 years of annual three-pass removal electrofishing, injury rates for brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in treatment sections of two streams averaged 10.4% and 12.3%, but were 0% in previously unshocked controls. In a third stream containing all species in sympatry, longnose suckers Catostomus catostomus sustained the highest average injury rates (9.6%), followed by brown trout Salmo trutta (6.9%), rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (4.0%), and brook trout (3.5%). These rates were based on external evaluation and probably greatly underestimated actual rates of healed injuries because 44% of X-rayed fish with no externally evident spinal injury showed previous injury. Despite the high incidence of spinal injury, abundance of all salmonid species remained stable or increased in the three streams during the 8-year study, which indicated that there were no detectable adverse population effects of repeated electrofishing. In contrast, abundance of longnose sucker declined significantly. Our results indicate that spinal injuries accumulated over time and that species probably differ in susceptibility to the deleterious effects of electrofishing."
A second possibility is that the trout suffered a spine fracture during a fisheries stream shocking survey. It

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Interesting read. I'll have to look into if they electro shock this stream. I know for a fact that they stock it twice a year.

Is scoliosis hereditary? With the presence of the adipose fin I would have pegged this as a wild trout. That and most of the stocked trout are cookie cutter 10 - 16 in offerings and usually have much darker colors. Hold overs and par marked younglings are the ones outside the range.

This stream has unfettered access to Lake Ontario lake so we get a variety.

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Ard

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It is a disorder passed generationally but can occur due to environmental conditions as the fish develops from alvin to adult. I wouldn't place any bets on the exact cause for the condition as seen in the photo as it could well be something other than my opening thought.

If your stream is electroshocked there is a likelyhood that my friend Silver is onto the possible cause for your fishes deformity. I found this while looking about; Investigation of Spinal Deformity Short article about the effects of a Lamprey Ell weir
 

silver creek

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So I caught this little guy while social distancing today. Any idea what happened?


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The trout actually has kyphosis which is a deformity or fracture of the ventral/anterior of the vertebral skeleton resulting a forward bending of the spine. This is frequently seen in elderly women and is colloquially called the dowager's "hump" fracture.



In trout, it is apparently seen most frequently in hatchery or farmed fish due to vitamin deficiency in their food. So This would be evidence that your fish is a hatchery fish.

FACTORS THAT CAN LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SKELETAL
DEFORMITIES IN FISHES: A REVIEW | Insight Medical Publishing


"Skeletal deformities are a major factor that downgrade hatcheries’ production and affects the production cost. Scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, jaw malformations and deformities of the branchial arches are some of them. Skeletal deformities in fishes are not well understood. Many factors may be related with the development of these deformities in fishes. This review aims to highlight the main of these factors."

Skeletal Anomaly Monitoring in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walbaum 1792) Reared under Different Conditions
 

Ard

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I see you're still researching Henry :) My opening remarks about acidification being related pointed to the nutrient poor waters resulting from lowered ph levels and with that came all sort of problems with non viable nesting being at the top of the list. I would agree that this may be a hatchery reared fish albeit one in the stream for some length of time based on condition of the fins. The fins look good.
 

flav

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I've seen a few hatchery trout and salmon with similar, weird looking spine deformations over the years. Looks like a hatchery fish to me (worn tail and dorsal, and pasty colors no wild brown would ever have), so things like that can be expected.
 

ottosmagic13

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Thanks for all the comments and info everyone.

I will say the fish of this creek run the gamut of colors.

First photo taken yesterday. Second last year October.


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Ard

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I'm no taxonomy expert but would venture to say both are from Loch Leven back grounds. I never owned a digital camera when I lived in brown trout country and so have almost zero photos of the Von Behr strain but.......

I have a few I scanned years ago, generally much more color than the Loch Leven fishs.







None of those images demonstrate it but the real tell tale physical detail on a Vom Behr adult is often the presence of a blood red adipose fin. That was the case with them in many places where I fished for and caught them.

Been a long time since those were taken, I don't even recognize the guy holding the fish..... The point was that while they are all brown trout they are 2 distinct strains. Those German fish (Vom Behr) have a slightly different morphology as well as the pigment differences. The Loch Leven's are of as the name implies from the Scottish Highland lakes. If you've not read the history of the transport and introduction of these fish to North America it will make a good read during any down time you may be experiencing :)
 
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