Help w/ Fish Identification - Saltwater Cutt

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Sean Maney, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Sean Maney

    Sean Maney New Member

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    I caught a lunker today but I'm not sure it was a cutt.

    Its body shape looked like a trout but it was bigger than most cutts I've caught. It was more football shaped, deeper in the belly than other cutts I've caught. It was olive green with several (not very many) dark spots about the size of this smiley face :cool:, but no telltale orange slashes. Not even a hint of color under the gill plate (I rolled it over and seperating the folds looked for any hint of orange but there was none).

    It was a fattie, I guessed about about 3 lbs, 22, maybe 24 or so inches.

    The adipose fin was intact.

    I was thinking maybe I caught a cross, a cutt-bow.... any ideas?
     
  2. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    here is an idea. attach the photo!
     
  3. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    The coastal cutthroat is heavily spotted down the sides almost to the belly. They are fine spots. Some cutthroat in salt water will completely lose the distinguished "slashes" under the jaw in salt water; others will barely show. You may just have caught an exceptionally fat one. Coastal cutthroat in salt water are getting pretty well recovered now from the spawning process and a good diet does put some girth on the stocky built specimans. If you check out some of the photos in my latest cutthroat book,"Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout" you'll see a good number of chunky ones. The one you caught is a true trophy however. Contratulations. I hope you have a photo of it for your tying room wall.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  4. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    First congrats on a very nice fish.

    The characteristic that intrigues me are the large spots on the fish's face. Sound like an Atlantic salmon to me - see -

    http://www.landbigfish.com/fish/fish.cfm?ID=104

    Atlantics typically have several large spots such as the ones you describe on their cheeks/gill covers. Did you happen to notice whether the tail wrist was narrower than normal? With Atlantics the wrist and boney plate in the tail are such that the fish can easily be picked up by the tail - not the case with our cutts/steelhead.

    As Les pointed out while the cutts in the salt may have faded slashes their body spotting is still noticable. If the fish in question didn't have lots of small spots on its back and sides it probably wasn't a cutt.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  5. Sean Maney

    Sean Maney New Member

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    Smalma,

    You nailed it. Thats the fish to a "T". This was more olive though, not so silver. But that's exactly what the fish looked like.

    Thats bad news............ Atlantic Salmon in the sound......

    I'd have posted a picture if I could have. I tired to take one but the damn camera was out of memory. I didn't want to play with the camera with the fish out of water so I put the camera down and let the fish go.

    But thats exactly what it looked like.
     
  6. Sean Maney

    Sean Maney New Member

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    I have heard there are Atlantic Salmon being farm raised off BC. Any one heard if there have been any inadverdent releases?
     
  7. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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  8. willieboat

    willieboat Member

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    A few years ago, Atlantics were quite common in the Green River. I believe that they were thought to have come from an at sea fish farm after a storm.

    Don
     
  9. Sean Maney

    Sean Maney New Member

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    Talking to a friend of mine he said just a few years ago there was a fish farm raising Atlantic Salmon on the south side of Hartstein Island. It was in business until 2000 and was shut down because of too many releases (also there were disease issues).

    Looks like that what I caught really was an Atlantic Salmon. :p
     
  10. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    If a marine area is open for salmon it is legal to keep an Atlantic salmon (see page 97 - top of the page in your fishing regulations). In anadromous rivers (non-landlocked) if the river is open for salmon or trout they may be retained (no bag or size limit); see page 29 in the reg. pamphlet towards the bottom under food fish/salmon.

    Over the years while cutthroat fishing in various rivers I've caught more than a dozen Atlantics (always net pen escapees) and they are very good eating (much like a steelhead) so do youself and the rivers a favor and keep them (of course you need to know what sort of fish you are bonking).

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  11. coffeeand trout

    coffeeand trout New Member

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    It sure sounds like a blackmouth to me.
    I've caught a lot of them off our beaches while sea run cutthroating here in the sound. Before you bonk that fish on the head make sure he doesn't have black gums. Just my 2 cents but from the description and the odds (at least I hope there are more blackmouth than atlantic's in the sound) and my personal experience of sometimes catching more 18-24" blackmouth than cutts I would say you caught a beautiful wild immature chinook, rather than an atlantic salmon. The general location where you caught the fish would also be helpful in identifying it. If you were next to the bainbridge net pens the odds would be higher for an atlantic, if it was Saratoga Passage, odds would be blackmouth. But especially, like Curt says, know your fish.
    Either way, nice fish, hope it was a native.

    Coffee and trout
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I would agree with Coffeeand trout that it sounds like a blackmouth. I also used to catch alot of similar sized ones when I lived on Bainbridge Island back in the early 80's.
    Reading this thread, I suspect Curt may have misread the phrase "...about the size of this smiley face:cool: " and thought the spots were around the face of the fish before he posted his reply:confused: (Although I'm not sure of that...just a suspicion).

    The blackmouth I have caught had olive backs that were spotted with irregular (not perfectly round) spots. The spots were on the olive portion of the back and on the tail, and are bigger than the spots on a cutthroat, where they can be all over the back,sides, and tail.

    Atlantics rarely (from salmon ID info on p 97 of sportfishing rule pamphlet) have spots on their tails, but have a few large spots on their gill covers. They don't have dark mouths and black gums like blackmouth. I have never caught one, though, so I'm going by photos.



    Jimbo