Sea-Run Cutthroat - Silver?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by ZachMatthews, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

  2. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Whoa- Zack Matthews.

    One time John Wilson and I had an in-depth conversation about your casting style while 30,000 feet over the pacific.

    We do have sockeye runs this far south, as I remeber, 1 sockeye made it back to the snake river in 2003. But Lake Washington sometimes has a season and sections on the columbia such as drano lake have a open fishing season for them.

    We may have anadromous fish but not much in the way of 30lb browns.

  3. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    we have fewer and fewer anadromous fish. The Cutthroat are unlike Steelhead in the fact that they reside primarily in the estuaries, and spend alot of the year in fresh. Also, about the hybrids, it definately happens. The genetics arent as simple as fishermen would like to think. I would say that a 20" cutt is no more likely to be a hybrid that a 12" fish. I have seen photos from an ongoing research project on a creek in washington where all upstream migrating fish have to pass through a wier. There have been fish that were migrating around 12" which looked exactly like a cutthroat, maxillary past jaw and all, that when parentage analysis was run with the genetics came out to have two steelhead parents. Its never as simple as we like to make it eh? We did historically have about 2 million sockeye in the columbia, the damns all but eradicated them. There is a run in lakewashington, but we are kinda at their southern range and global warming isnt treating them well. I think like 200000 fish dissappeared between the locks and the cedar river a couple years ago because of in river mortality. The baker river farther north had some, and I actually think the stilly's fish are mostly strays? As far as kokannee go, we have lots
  4. ZachMatthews

    ZachMatthews Nil desperandum, trutta semper est.

    Hey guys -

    I'm bringing this topic back up to the front because my trip is coming up and I am beginning to gear up.

    Thanks to everyone for the tips and the fisheries information. For you biologist types: my understanding is that cutthroat trout diverged from rainbows initially due to being isolated in population, presumably sometime around the Lake Missoula period towards the end of the last ice age. Since rainbows and cutties are both onchornychus mykiss, and since both inhabit the same habitat and seem to have more or less the same food source, wouldn't isolation be required to cause divergence? So I have to say I am surprised to learn that sea run cutties don't hybridize, just as I am surprised to hear that they weren't stocked. My understanding was that cutties arose only on the east slopes of the Rockies and are stocked in any waters that communicate to the Pacific - is that inaccurate?

    Now, back to kokanee. I have been told that this particular run of fish also has a run of rainbows riding its coattails. These fish I know of live in a lake, and the lake is fed by the river they run in to. Immediately above the lake is a private fish ranch, a large one, where the local big wigs feed rainbow trout, but which are otherwise wild. When the kokes run, the big rainbows follow them up eating eggs. So, I am really interested to learn what kind of structure or lies kokanee try to find to spawn on, as there will surely be a bunch of pig rainbows (5-8 lbs.) below them. I'd really love to hook one of those submarines! (Hey, I live in the East, ok? :) ).

    Can anyone help me on the kokanee spawn locations? Are koke eggs about the same size and shape as rainbow/brown eggs? Anyone ever heard of a "Scrambled Egg" fly? Someone recommended it to me.

    Thanks a lot,
    Zach Matthews
  5. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Cutthroat are Oncorhynchus clarki, not O. mykiss. The coastal cutthroat subspecies is Oncorhynchus clarki clarki and is native to the west coast from California to Alaska. Cutthroat have several subspecies with a native range covering a huge portion of western North America.
  6. ZachMatthews

    ZachMatthews Nil desperandum, trutta semper est.

    Wow, I had that all wrong. I had a biologist friend who once told me that rainbows were o. mykiss and cutthroat were o. mykiss clarki -- in other words a subspecies. Was he wrong or was he looking at it differently somehow? Can anyone recommend a good layperson's book on trout species and their distribution?

    Thanks for the correction,
  7. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Check out Trout and Salmon of North America by Robert Behnke. It's probably the most thorough guidebook to trout, salmon, and char including maps of the original distribution of most of the various subspecies.
  8. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    It is generally thought that the coastal cutthroat was the the ancestor of all of the other cutthroat subspecies which, having become isolated by various geological processes, began to diverge from it. The range of the cutthroats on the eastern slope of the Rockies is really quite limited compared to the area originally (and largely still) inhabited by the coastal cutthroat. From California's Eel River to the Kenai Peninsula and extending east to the crest of the coastal mountains, their range coincided closely with the zone of temperate rain forest.
  9. chongfk

    chongfk Member

    I understand a lot about cutts after reading this post. Can someone enlighten me on Silver? Is silver simply resident salmon?

  10. Willie Bodger

    Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

    I would guess that you mean Kokanee? A silver salmon is a Coho, a Kokanee is a landlocked Silver. In basic terms, anyway.

  11. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Kokanee are landlocked Sockeye
  12. Willie Bodger

    Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

    Oh yeah...:eek: (couldn't find sheepish grin). So, then, red makes sense. So, what's a landlocked silver? Dead?
  13. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    There are landlocked coho and I'm sure they have common nicknames, but I've always just heard them called "landlocked coho".
  14. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    To the best of my knowledge, landlocked coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) do not occur naturally, though WDFW has at times stocked coho fry in some lowland lakes. Kokanee (O. nerka kennerlyi), the naturally occurring subspecies of the sockeye salmon O. nerka) has been widely stocked in lowland lakes where it is commonly known as the 'silver' Or "silver trout". It occurs naturally in, among others, Lake Washington.

    This is a prime example of the confusion generated when common or local names are used to discuss fish. The name "coho" is used interchangeably with "silver". Resident coho (who never leave Puget Sound) are called "resident coho", or "resident silvers" or just "residents", we used to call them "feeder silvers". Chinook salmon (O. tshawaytscha) are also called "kings" and, in Canada, "springs". The resident form, in Puget Sound, is a "blackmouth". Sockeye salmon are also known as "reds" and, on the coast, as "bluebacks". Sea-run cutthroat are known in southwest Washington as "harvest trout" and in some locales as "bluebacks". As you can see, without a fairly intimate knowledge of just what species you're talking about, a lot of fog can be generated.
  15. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Preston, thank you as always for shedding light and sharing your vast knowledge. It is a pleasure to read your insightful posts. I look forward to seeing you on a Puget Sound beach soon.
    Best regards, Steve
  16. ZachMatthews

    ZachMatthews Nil desperandum, trutta semper est.

    Thank you all for clearing that up. I actually got on Amazon and ordered Dr. Behnke's book this morning before evening reading the suggestion! Glad to know I made the right choice.

    Preston - are you a biologist by trade? I have a lot more questions.

  17. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    Not at all. I just have a deep and long-lasting interest in fish; at least in our native species. If you have any questions, I'd be happy (to the best of my ability) to try to answer them.
  18. chongfk

    chongfk Member

    So when people say fishing the salt for silvers, they can mean either Coho or resident Coho. I never know black mouth means resident king. I always thought it simply refers to immature kings. I really learn a lot. Thanks!!
  19. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    Kings that will make the enormous gyre from Puget Sound or the Columbia River and up into the Gulf of Alaska and return, move pretty steadily, feeding all the while, once they reach salt water. Once they have left Puget Sound, by late spring, our waters will be pretty devoid of kings until mature fish from an earlier year's run return to commence their spawning runs, which may be as early as March (spring chinook), or much later (summer and fall chinook).

    A small percentage instead, choose to remain their entire lives within the Sound and are, thus, available to the angler throughout the winter (the sport fishery for blackmouth was, traditionally, a winter and early spring fishery). These "blackmouth" (a reference to the king's black gumline) usually don't achieve the maximum size of a mature ocean-going king, 10-12 pounds being a pretty good fish, though exceptional specimens have reached 30+ pounds.

    Yes, "fishing the salt for silvers" can mean fishing for returning ocean-going fish in the late summer or fall or fishing for resident silvers at almost any time of the year. Wild, native populations of blackmouth and resident silvers are only a shadow of what they were a few decades ago. Unrealistic limits on resident silvers (6 fish under 18 inches), in a highly popular fishery, decimated them and only recently have populations shown some recovery. This has largely been due to the discovery that young silvers, kept in pens beyond their normal time of outmigration, tended, when released, to residualize and remain within a limited area. A full-grown resident silver may reach as much as 3 to 5 pounds at maturity.
  20. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

    I'm on a roll with the pics from another thread, so I thought I'd include some examples in this one to.

    Resident puget sound "blackmouth" around 7lbs

    Compared to a returning King:

    Resident puget sound coho:

    Compared to a migratory puget sound coho: