Fish ID?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Kent Lufkin, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I was fishing a mountain lake yesterday and caught a strange dink that was quite unlike the juvenile cutties and brookies that are normally found this self-sustaining lake. It had a much deeper belly than a juvenile trout, a deeply forked tail and no sign of spots or parr marks. I mentioned this to some friends who had fished the same lake a week ago and it turned out than one had happened to catch a similar fish. Fortunately, he took the photo below of the little guy.

    [​IMG]

    My friend has tentatively identified it as a juvenile mountain whitefish (note especially the small mouth in the pic above). I've been fishing that lake for nearly a decade and have never caught or even heard of anybody catching a whitey in it. I didn't even know whiteys could inhabit lakes.

    So, fellow fish sleuths: is it a whitefish? If not, then what?

    While Behnke says in Salmon and Trout of North America that whitefish can be found in lakes, has anyone else ever caught one in stillwater before?

    TIA,

    K
     
  2. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Dace maybe?
     
  3. speyflyfisher

    speyflyfisher Member

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  4. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Another vote for redside shiner.

    They are a native minnow found in a variety of western Washington waters and ws originallly found in many of the area's lowland lakes; in addition they have been introduced in other lakes by the "bucket biologists". If you caught it in the lake that I suspect that is how they got into that "high lake".

    Mountain whitefish are fairly common in some lakes though often do not enter the catch much. They can be found in waters such as Lake Washington as well as a variety of sloughs, ponds and lakes along the flood ways of our rivers. In addition there is an interesting whitefish - the pygmy whitefish - found in Chester Morse on the upper Cedar.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  6. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    Redsided Shiner is my vote. I helped rotanone a lake in Idaho a few years back that was over run with them. I was surprised at how big a few of them got. They can spawn multiple times a year and can really overpopulate a lake. Not a good sign if your catching them around here.
     
  7. Michael Thompson

    Michael Thompson the flavor of BADFISH

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    it almost looks like a red-horse sucker.
     
  8. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    Shiner would be my guess. Did you get a look at the mouth? Was the bottom jaw Square? I know on this side of the state I run into an occasional Chiselmouth, and they look pretty close to a Shiner.
     
  9. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Comparing it with the picture in Wydoski/Whitney's Inland Fishes of Washington it sure looks like a Redside Shiner. I can't make out the shape and size of the fins in your photo but the body shape is identical.
     
  10. Tyler Speir

    Tyler Speir Artist

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    Hes right on... It is for sure a Redsided Shiner, and they will take over the lake.
     
  11. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    While would never advocate the introduction of exotic species (one not native to the water in question) into waters without careful thought in the case of the redside shiner they may or may not "take over" the lake.

    They are very susceptible to predation by species such as largemouth bass. Unless the lake has a lot of very shallow water weeds/shoreline marsh the bass can virtually eliminate them. There is a large quasi high lake near North Bend that had the shiners introduced into prior to WWII yet even today the trout production is maintained by natural reproduction and the "pogies" have hardly taken over the lake.

    On the flip side of the issue in recent years the redside shiners have found their way into Ross Lake and their population seems to have exploded. It will remain to be seen how the lakes ecosystem will be affected by this exotic. Not surprising the bull trout are taking advantage of this additional food resource. Reports are that some rainbows are also feeding on the smaller shiner with some larger rainbows being caught. However it will likely be decades before the whole story will be known. It is still an unknown whether the juvenile rainbows recruiting out of the tributary streams to the lakewill be able to successfully deal with the potential competition.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  12. CovingtonFly

    CovingtonFly B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again

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    Kent, what did you do with the fish after you caugth it?
     
  13. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I'm embarassed to say that I was gonna take a picture of it, but the little guy spit my fly and leap into the water while I was fumbling to get my camera from behind the seat.

    K
     
  14. Tyler Speir

    Tyler Speir Artist

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    good pic of a shinner
     
  15. Dehlan G

    Dehlan G Member

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    I heard about this last year and I was very curious about the shiner's impact. Ross Lake is a special place to my heart, my dad used to take me to Ross Lake Resort every summer until he got cancer. I am planning to return and camp there with a friend this August. I hope it doesn't impact the fishing or the natural beauty up there.
     
  16. Kyle McCurdy

    Kyle McCurdy Member

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    Shiner for sure. Only reason I know is cause I just caught one and had no idea and asked my grandfather.

    This one was in lake sutherland. They got introduced a long while ago when all that lake had were big cutthroat and anglers would use shiners as live bait.
     
  17. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    I'd say Shiner.
     
  18. phatboyle

    phatboyle New Member

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    I was up at Ross Lake last weekend. What a great place.

    I heard from many folks that the fishing has improved quite a bit over the past 3 years, likely due to the shiners. There sure are a lot in the lake. They follow flies and seem to hang out in schools. Not hard to see or find at all. Hopefully the rainbow and bull trout fry will survive the competition.

    It's sad to see species introduced into the watershed, but of course, it's an artificial setting now anyway with the damns and all.

    We had quite good luck fishing up there with rainbows and bull trout hitting our wet flies.
    Pat
     
  19. Steffan Brown

    Steffan Brown ...

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    I've had one of these before, but it doesn't look like that...:rofl:
     
  20. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

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    I assume if it was a high lake that you told Brian and or the bios about that. Weird.
     

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