Wild/Native Rainbow Trout?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Trent, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Trent Ugly member

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    I was reading somewhere and now I can't remember where or by who this article was by. But I was curious about it because it was along the lines of that here in washington state that the rainbow trout is not a "native" species, but instead a species introduced to this area by people. It was stateing that the cutthroaght was the "native" trout species of this area. If anyone has any insight on this it would be apprieciated.
  2. Rory McMahon Active Member

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    Im not 100 percent sure on this, but rainbows are the same as steelhead, they just don't go out to sea, so therefore if steelhead are native rainbows have to be native. Anyone see any flaws in this
  3. Trent Ugly member

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    That is what I thought/think too, that is why this idea intrigued me. I wish I could find this article again:beathead:
  4. Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    East Wenatchee, WA
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    Rainbow = Steelhead Steelhead = Rainbow
    All of the western rivers that have steelhead runs have native/resident rainbows.
    I'm no expert just an ole fly fisher.
    Also cutthroat are native/resident in western rivers.
    Read Les Johnson's books
  5. Milt Roe Member

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    Taco Ma
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    I was told once on a river by a guy who was quite certain of his facts that the tribes had no right to steelhead because they were a cross between a rainbow and an atlantic salmon.

    Sometimes you just need to walk on by. A lot of folks are idiots.
  6. Tyler Sadowski Member

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    Kirkland, wa
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    :rofl:HAHA sometimes you wonder where people get their info. Yes rainbows are native to Washington and so are west slope cutts and coastal cutts.
  7. Stewart Skunk Happens

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    Spokane
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    We have coastal rainbow and columbia redbands.

    I highly recommend Robert Behnke's book "Trout and Salmon of North America". His most unusual claim, IMHO, is that the trout native to Crab Creek were Yellowstone Cutthroat.
  8. Dehlan G Member

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    UW
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    Same, it should be in every angler's library. It's a hefty book with great illustrations and tons of information. Before I got the book, a cutthroat was a cutthroat, a rainbow was a rainbow. Westslopes and coastal cutthroats were the same to me. I try to study it whenever I can, its pretty interesting to read about the Mexican Rainbows and the extinct subspecies of cutthroat.
    http://www.amazon.com/Trout-Salmon-America-Robert-Behnke/dp/0743222202
  9. wildbuca Member

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    seattle, wa
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    resident rainbows and steelhead are genetically identical. in fact studies have shown that offspring of the same adults can have different life histories. ie resident, "half pounders" and ocean bound fish. also fish located above a barrier have been tagged, released below a barrier and then gone to the salt.

    therefor rainbows are definitely native to wa.
  10. Plecoptera Active Member

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    Rainbows are native to this area, but many of the strains that are present now are non-native. Mainly the fish that are stocked in lakes. As mentioned above any steelhead stream will have resident rainbows that are native.

    Note that rainbows are non-native to many of the popular trout streams in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
  11. gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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    Gig Harbor, Wa, USA.
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    Here in Washington we have two native subspecies of rainbow trout, the Coastal Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus and the Columbia Basin Redband Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri. Both of these subspecies also have anadromous forms; i.e. steelhead. The coastal variety is native to the western slope of the cascade mountains while the redbands are native to the eastern slope. So in a sense it is true as coastal rainbows are not native to the east side of the state. They have been introduced there and hybridized with the redbands, as in the Yakima River were they fish are probably about 50/50 redband/rainbow today.

    Like others have said the cutthroat native to Washington are the Coastal and Westslope.
  12. ChrisW AKA Beadhead

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    Seattle, WA.
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    These would be true if one were speaking about Montana, where rainbows are definitely an introduced species, at least in 99% of the state's watersheds.

    Rainbows are indeed native to Washington as others have said.

    One shred of truth to this comment though is that many of the current populations of rainbows and steelhead were introduced to watersheds through the hatchery system and in some cases have diluted the native trout gene pool or made the native strains more rare. Hatchery fish are also more likely to hybridize with cutthroats than native strains, which seem to coexist with the cutts by using different parts of the watershed.

    I think this is all true... I was told so by a guy on the river one day:hmmm:

    CW
  13. jackchinook Member

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    Winthrop, WA
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    Reminds me of a local fellow from Gold Bar or Startup that I was talking to while fishing Kellogg Lake one evening. He told me all about how the fishing used to be great for really big cutts...until the beavers started eating them all. "once they get to around 16" the beavers get 'em!"

    Often times it seems that people who are most certain of their facts are also the most full of shit.
  14. Bruce Baker Active Member

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    Olympia, WA
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    Rainbow trout are native to Montana, but just to the Kootenay River. Their range extended to the barrier falls between Troy and Liberty (got that out of Behnke).

    The Shasta-McLoud strain of rainbow trout is a very popular hatchery trout. It has been spread quite a bit outside of its range.

    Although rainbow trout are native to Washington State, non-native strains have been introduced via hatcheries.
  15. Dustin Bise Active Member

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    I cant remember the name, but I find a great old paperback book documenting and exploring western waterways (wa, or, ca) for native trout at the Spokane Public Library. There are indeed two native rainbows to washington as people have covered. These can also be split into sub species evolved to there own drainage as well, but the abilty to identify the difference is held only by a few select experts!
  16. Evan Smyth New Member

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    Seattle, Washington
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    Rainbows=native in the northwest extending south to central cali. and east to western montana (Russia has native bows too). Brookies native to upper midwest and northeast. Browns native to Europe in particular Germany I think.
  17. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Germany doesn't have any more native browns than the rest of Europe, but for some reason people here like to call them "German Brown Trout". They're native across all of Europe, Iceland, parts of north Africa, and east as far as Afghanistan.
  18. JE Active Member

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    The "German Browns" reference came about as a reference to the Von Behr brown of German descent to differentiate from the Loch Leven browns from Scotland. These two variations of the same species were among the earliest of the brown trout brought over and introduced successfully in the US. The Von Behr variety have more reddish spots than their Scottish brethren.
    -JE
  19. Trent Ugly member

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    Cool, thanks for the info guys...I still can't find the damn article. The more I think about it, I think I might have misunderstood some of what it was saying...my memory sucks and time alters things in it.