Identify this fish.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Gregg H, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Don't know if it's been mentioned as this thread is way too long...but since brown trout are present in California, it could well be a sea run brown. The seatrout of Europe bears some resemblance. I wish now that I'd taken some pix...

    My first thought was chinook looking at the head, but the gumline is a giveaway there. I don't think I've ever seen a king or blackmouth with a gumline that white. It doesn't look like a coho head; it just screams nook.
  2. I mentioned it earlier...I don't think anyone's buying it :)
  3. Considering Kings are a relatively common catch in that location, rarity(if at all) of Coho, and all the other info pointing to a King, i'd say it's a char. :rolleyes:

  4. White King Salmon? I was stuck on coho until I saw the spots on the lower portion of the tail...
  5. This thread is so much fun I took my McPhail-Lindsey off the shelf, blew the dust off, and went through the salmonid key, as it's been a long time.

    1. major ray count on anal fin, 12 or less for an Atlantic salmon, 13 or more for chinook. I can't tell from the photo.

    2. dark spots on light background, teeth on head and shaft of vomer, forming a strip down the center of the roof of the mouth several times as long as it is wide. Photos don't include a clear shot of vomer.

    3. large black spots, many surrounded by pale halos; usually a series of pale or reddish spots along the lateral line. Spots not surrounded by halos, so not a brown trout.

    4. no halos, no pale spots along lateral line;

    5. red or orange hyoid slashes; usually a few teeth behind the tongue between the gills. No slashes, but can't tell about teeth behind tongue.

    6. rod or orange hyoid slash usually absent; never any teeth behind tongue. No slash, but can't tell about teeth behind tongue.

    7. teeth on shaft of vomer few, poorly developed, and deciduous, caudal fin usually unspotted, never with regular rows of black spots; adipose fin without a black margin, no lateral red band on spawning adults: can't tell from the photos, but if it meets this criteria it's an Atlantic salmon.

    8 - 13 work through the trout and char species.

    14. 13 - 19, rarely 12 major rays in anal fin.

    15 - 16 work through to ID pink salmon.

    17. spots on tail and back small and irregular, the largest much smaller than the vertical eye diameter, posterior adipose eyelid poorly developed, not extending half way to pupil. OK on spots, I think probably on posterior eyelid.

    18. flesh along base of teeth in lower jaw black; small black spots on both lobes of tail ---- chinook. To the extent I can see the lower jaw, yes to black flesh along base of teeth. To the extent I can see spots on the tail, yes on small spots, but really I can't see the upper lobe very well.

    I still go with chinook. That could change if I could see and count the major anal fin rays and the vomerine teeth.

  6. Thanks salmo, one thing to add is that the shape of the anal fin--with the edge attaching to the body being longer than the leading edge, is typical of the species with high anal fin ray counts (sockeye, pink, chum, chinook) as opposed to those with low anal fin ray counts (rainbow and cutthroat trout, atlantic salmon and brown trout), suggesting to me that it is indeed a chinook. This is setting aside the fact that the tail appears to have spots all the way down, the lower gumline (from the limited amount we can see) appears to be black, the shape of the spots and their location on the head is more 'king' like, and the fish has the very distinctive 'steeleye' (non-technical term) of a king. Finally, the sacramento has large runs of chinook, whereas to my knowledge, atlantic salmon farms are not present in the area, leaving the likelihood of strays quite low in my estimation (of course this has nothing to do with the images).
  7. I got down McPhail and Lindsey(1970), Schultz(1936), Miller and Lea(1972), and Behnke(2002). I say it's a chinook but there is something wrong with the photo so the gumline looks pale. Reflection or exposure or photoshop, I don't know. The picture of the tail is poor, but it looks like spots on the lower lobe of the caudal fin, unless that is debris in the water or photoshop. Spots on the head down to the eye, the big spots on the back, the big pointed head(hard to describe but so familiar to me, I'd say male), spots on both lobes of the tail fin, the color of the tail fin, the body shape, the shape of the anal fin, and the place caught all indicate Chinook.

    An Atlantic Salmon, besides all the points already given by others, would have spots on the opercle and way down below the eye, and perhaps those funny X spots on the body. Is Hap just jerking us around?
  8. How do you count pyloric caeca in a photo of a fishes exterior?
  9. I think he was being sarcastic.
  10. Yup, the head shape is what does it for me. The hump that is developing at the base of the skull is very abrupt, and typical of Chinook. I would think a silver "showing some hump" would already have a trace of kype development. The head of this fish is indescernable from one caught on a ocean charter (the pointedness you mentioned.) I dunno, it just reeks Chinook funk so bad I can almost smell it through the monitor.

    I give Hap props even if he's jerking us around. He did make a good argument. And it's OK to be wrong, - I know because I've had plenty of practice.
  11. coho/silver
  12. Good grief, 112 posts and you are still arguing about what kind of fish it is. Get over with it, enough already.

    There must be better things to argue about.
  13. GO BEARS!!! :)
  14. I have decided that the only way to get to the bottom of this is to send a copy of the photo to the black hair, pony-tailed chick Abby from NCIS. Once she runs the photo through her Kushman-5000-digital-McPhail-Lindsey-salmonid-pyloric-caeca-sequential-anal-spot-gum-analyzer program she will give us a definitive answer.
    I will let you know when I hear back from her. Until then I guess we settle for congratulating Gregg on his beautiful, and acknowledged biodiverse catch.
  15. iagree

    This is the best idea that anybody has come up with.
  16. How about lets go have a beer? (i think this idea has merit OMJ)
  17. Better yet, let's all go camp on a steelhead hole and nymph till our arms fall off.
  18. Nick...That IS the best idea i have heard!! When and Where buddy?? :thumb:Better yet...lets fish a smaller river and then try to swing it!! Lets stand knee to thigh deep where the fish hold usually and then bitch about the lack of fish!! Now THAT sounds fun!:rofl::rofl:
  19. Trying to get his thread to the 10 page mark...its going to get there.

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