Cutthroat/steelhead hybrid

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by D3Smartie, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. WT

    WT Active Member

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    Very cool thread. On most threads I find myself wading through one sarcatstic comment after another that have little bearing on the given subject but here I find cool pics and actual facts about one of our local fisheries.
    Thanks to all for the good info.

    have good fishing,
    WT
     
  2. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Bruce-
    Thought of sending you a PM however given the general interest in this topic thought I would communicate my ideas via this discussion.

    I understand the lack of $$ of a full blown study however it seems to me that these larger hybrids are not a very common critter. So I wonder if there is an interested bio/genetist that would be willing to oversee and provide direction to a sampling effort that the interest folks here might be able to begin collection of samples (fin tissue and scales?) with the goal of expanding our understanding of another of the aspect of the diversity of the this interesting species.

    My idea is that a group of interest folks get together either face to face or via an email train to discuss the hybrids and what the implications and interests are from that hybridization. Once we have some sort of handle on the interest and potential direction that some sort of sampling program be designed with established protocols. Once it is off the ground and some samples are in hand maybe then we can devote some energy to find the $$ (how much?) to have genetic samples run as well as work with folks that are comfortable (qualitified?) to read scales to look at life history of these older/larger fish.

    I'm talking very much of the top of my head.

    Anyone - any addition ideas, comments, or thoughts?

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  3. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    contact UW I suspect they'd be most likely to study trout
     
  4. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

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    Thanks for your comments Curt. I don't think it would be a problem to throw a few fish in, but that would dependent upon what species they were analyzing. I can certainly bring this up with one of the biologists in the WDFW genetics unit. I can also contact a biologist I know that is with NOAA-Fisheries. I think NOAA would have a little more latitude on what samples they run and analyze. It would also be interesting to look at the mitochondrial DNA and see which species is the female in these crosses.
     
  5. TQ

    TQ New Member

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    Folks from NOAA-Fisheries and UW have been tracking the movements of steelhead and cutthroat in Hood Canal with ultrasonic transmitters in 2006, 2007 and 2008. There will be DNA analysis of these fish and some may turn out to be hybrids. It will indeed be interesting to see how their movements compare to the pure species. Incidentally, a number of studies have shown that it can be very difficult to distinguish hybrids from pure rainbow/steelhead and cutthroat trout, especially when the fish are small. Indeed, the newly emerged fry of the two species are essentially indistinguishable. It is fascinating that their freshwater aspects are quite similar and their marine aspects are so different...
    thanks for all the good comments,
    TQ
     
  6. MauiJim

    MauiJim ka lawai'a

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    Guys-
    I did my MS research at UW in a fisheries genetics lab- I worked on spiny dogfish popgen, not salmonids, but a buddy of mine worked on the Stehekin system, specifically looking at rainbow and cutthroat habitat overlap in the river. He used the remarkably simple karyotyping method (counting actual chromosomes, not genes) to ID cutts, bows, and hybrids.

    This method is advantageous in that it doesn't require large sample sizes (most genetic techniques utilize n=100 or more, though more powerful markers are reducing these sample sizes), is relatively cheap, and is robust (results are conclusive, and not based on statistics or modeling).

    He has the techniques optimized, so it would simply take an interested MS student or even a UW Capstone (sr. project) to put this together. I'd have to check for karyotyping, but a simple fin clip preserved in ethanol is typically enough material to get a positive ID. As mentioned, scales will give interesting insight to life history of individuals.

    I can get in touch with my old advisor, but what kind of interest is there for collecting samples? Would people be willing to carry a baggie of small plastic vials w/ ethanol and take a small fin clip, and a pic of the fish, with a few details? Finding hybrids may be difficult, but piggybacking this question on top of a broader study may make this appealing to a student/lab.
     
  7. Matt B

    Matt B ...

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    He has the techniques optimized, so it would simply take an interested MS student or even a UW Capstone (sr. project) to put this together. I'd have to check for karyotyping, but a simple fin clip preserved in ethanol is typically enough material to get a positive ID. As mentioned, scales will give interesting insight to life history of individuals.
    
    I can get in touch with my old advisor, but what kind of interest is there for collecting samples? Would people be willing to carry a baggie of small plastic vials w/ ethanol and take a small fin clip, and a pic of the fish, with a few details? Finding hybrids may be difficult, but piggybacking this question on top of a broader study may make this appealing to a student/lab.
    That's a really cool idea. I wish I had seen this a couple years ago, before graduation!

    Don't know about the legality of average joes clipping cutts though.
     
  8. The Quan

    The Quan member

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    Wow , I am glad this subject came up again, I don't make many posts or hang out often, but the interest in this is what I have been looking for because I am an analyst by nature. I skipped the last thread about hybrids because it did not seem to be going anywhere. Boy Have I got some stories and photos to show !!! I will start digging them out over the coming days when I can. I have been fishing the sound for over 20 years. There is one particular spot that I started fishing by need to find new water about 6 years ago. I have caught many hybrids. Some very big ones at that. One was so big at 24" that I had no doubt it was a steelhead until I rolled it over. I started rolling these fish over because I started catching more and more of them and it became apparent to me that rolling them over was the bullet proof way to see what it really was !! Some of them look just like a rainbow until I looked at the throat. Some cut marks are a faint orange and others are well defined.
    Anyway for years I have wanted to hook up with someone to solve this mystery. I could have taken a lot of samples by now but would not know who to take them too? Very fascinating subject. It is interesting that they are tracking these in the hood canal and sound? !!! I have always thought it would be a worthy study of their migration and habits. ​
    I will get back with more details and photos !!
    If someone wants to contact me about taking a sample of some kind. no problem, I will be going to fish this area soon. I have been waiting for the opportunity to do so. ​





     
  9. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    A couple calls to fish and wildlife from UW should get the necessary permits
     
  10. reamse

    reamse New Member

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    I'm at Eastern in the MS program this fall.

    I'm sure I can get someone interested in this. Or talk to the Ichthology professor, there's a mini grant coming up for submission in about 3 weeks I could probably, slip in some funding for genetic analysis.

    But that would all be dependant on me driving 4+ hours...and not spending the grant money on the gas. Plus I need cash for my stable isotope samples.

    But i'll try to spread the word around to the faculty.

    :p
     
  11. The Quan

    The Quan member

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    Here is a photo of one of the hybrids I caught. I have a picture somewhere I am trying to dig up of one that is a few inches bigger than this. This one had what I would call a half slash under the throat. I have rarely caught one with a full slash. I have caught fish that are very distinguishable resident cutthroat and resident rainbows the same system , either a full dark slash or no slash at all. Then there are these that seem to fall in between ! The interesting thing is they are all good size fish. I would say the smallest hybrid I have caught has been 14". The largest 24". I would say about 25% of the fish I have caught in this area are hybrids of sort.Another observation I have made is they hit really hard and I mean really hard :eek:. I have been broke off many times just on the take with 6 lb maxima !!!![​IMG][/IMG]
     
  12. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    nice fish and SLT