Trip Report Alpine Coastal Cutts

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Bruce Baker, Sep 23, 2017.

Tags:
  1. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,613
    Likes Received:
    2,081
    Location:
    Moses Lake, WA
    your fish could have come down from Alaska or Joe lakes.
     
    stilly stalker and dflett68 like this.
  2. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,361
    Likes Received:
    6,935
    Location:
    Central WA
    I was going to suggest that. It would give you a great excuse to return - maybe even on work time! They certainly are very fascinating fish. I'd love to be the geneticist that found a whole new subspecies!
     
    Greg Armstrong and Bruce Baker like this.
  3. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    657
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Thanks for the suggestion Sue. Although I'm in the warm water unit, it is within the inland trout program, so I could try and turn it into a work project. Funding is going to be an issue. I may have to see if some federal geneticists would be interested in running samples gratis if it can't be done in house.
     
    Freestone likes this.
  4. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,361
    Likes Received:
    6,935
    Location:
    Central WA
    How much do you think it would cost, Bruce? You might think about doing a presentation to SCPAG. Although they don't have money, many of the members are in clubs that do and some of them are passionate about cutthroat, not just steelhead. If they think it would be a good project, maybe they could help grease the skids with the powers that be and/or be willing to do some fundraising for it. In any case, I think it would be an interesting presentation.
     
    Bruce Baker likes this.
  5. Paul_

    Paul_ Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1969
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    557
    Location:
    La Center
    Just make sure you get your friend from work who told you about the lake, in on any official work related sampling.;)
     
    stilly stalker and Bruce Baker like this.
  6. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,361
    Likes Received:
    6,935
    Location:
    Central WA
    And volunteers; he'll need volunteers to do stuff. Important stuff. It will be difficult, all that important volunteer stuff that needs doing, but I volunteer!
     
    Adam Saarinen and Bruce Baker like this.
  7. Ian Horning

    Ian Horning Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    809
    Location:
    Brown Town
    The cool thing about cutts is how much they vary lake to lake, and even how they differ within a lake. I posted about this several months ago.

    These three came from the same lake. The spots aren't as big, but...
    IMG_3544.jpg
    IMG_3541.jpg
    IMG_3554.jpg
    The bottom one was the largest, and looked as if it could have just left the ocean- although this was a lake very, very isolated from that possibility. But what causes the coloration of the darker fish?

    This one came from a lake about 1300 feet higher than the previous three:
    IMG_3482.jpg
    This fish is almost blue... colored completely different. Many fish in this lake resembled this one.

    It makes you wonder if isolation in certain lakes over a certain time frame could cause new, distinct subspecies to form, or if they simply have a vast color palette.
     
  8. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    1,697
    Add my 2 cents. Having some background in fisheries and a lot of time catching coastal cutthroats that run the spectrum of colors, I can point to what is pointed out on here from time to time, color is the worst way to identify a trout species as they can change colors quite efficiently to match their residence in water. Morphology, as mentioned above, is the key. "Subspecies" are often hybrids or simply seasonal coloration changes to the norm.

    Just because an individual trout looks different in color and spots, that is not reliable identifying.. None. Also, since lakes have been planted with many rainbow before, a lot of hybridization has occurred. Many of the trout above look to my eyes as to have a lot of rainbow trout in them. Again, that means nothing until genetic testing.

    Any lakes on the coast that appear to have a more "cleaner" strain of coastal cutthroat, have pretty traceable creeks and river to salt. With all the flooding, great opportunity for the fish to spash/climb barriers/reside in seasonal, vernal waters and spread their seed around in watersheds and jumping watersheds.

    If one wants to find dark, heavily spotted coastal cutthroat, look for dark/cedar stained waters..bogs, beaverpond and the rare (for the coast) tannic stained creek.
    That same fish, if coming from glacial river, started out silver and white and almost spot-free. Same individual fish can take on both extremes in the right conditions.

    14lt20l.jpg
    (not my photo)

    Nice threads and photos !
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017