I know it's not a cutthroat, unless they don't have slashes under their throats anymore, I'm not smart enough to argue if it's a hybrid or not. How does one tell, or what makes you think it's not a rainbow?
Who cares what kind of fish it is as long as it isn't a sucker. It seems that nobody can post a picture here with a fish that people don't tear it apart. Is it in the water,is it a native,isn't it a dolly or a bull, Is it a cuttbow or a bowcutt. Who cares just as long as it is legal and you can post it here. I think it is a fine fish and I wouldn't mind catching some like it. I have but I don't post it here for this very same reason.
hey, chill old man. i was not putting his fish down, in fact i complimented it. i was only saying that it wasn't a rainbow trout.
ibn, of course no one is sure unless they have it in their own hand. my criteria were as follows:
1. typically, a rainbow has a maxillary that is even with the eye or shorter, while cutthroat have long maxillaries that extend past the eye, especially male fish. the length of maxillary does differ between rainbow sexes, with females having a relatively shorter maxillary and the males longer. in fact most rianbow males have long maxillaries that extend past the eye (tod123 has a nice picture of a male rainbow and look how much different it looks than your fish, then look at a picture of a female rainbow). the maxillary on your fish extends well past the eye, but does not have the long head of a male rainbow, which suggests it is either a female cutthroat or a female hybrid, because the maxillary is too long for a pure female rainbow.
2. the spots are too many and too small for a rainbow, which typically have larger and fewer spots.
3. the coloration of the body appears more inline with cutthroat, especially the yellow-golden shades on the jaw.
4. the no slash is an issue, and could suggest it is a hybrid. however, sometimes the slashes are very faint, almost unnoticeable- especially in some females.
the cedar has quite a few cutthroat/rainbow hybrids. there are a couple of nice pictures of big male rainbow trout on this board and all have much larger spots and a long snaky head, with a really long maxillary. the belly on your fish is very plump, which suggests a female, but the maxillary is just too long for a female purestrain rainbow. thus, i think it is probably a hybrid, but also potentially just a female cutthroat that has very faint slashes.
there is of course on other option, that the fish is a male hybrid or cutthroat. male fish sometimes mature without any notable male features- such fish have a purpose in that when mating, they don't immediately appear to be a male fish when spawning. because they don't look like a male, many dominant males will leave them alone- but still chase around other more "normal" looking males. this allows those female looking males to have sex, without the harrassment of being a typical male.
it is a beautiful fish. i am in no way trying to take away from that. thanks for sharing the picture.
ibn, that is sure a beautiful fish. i agree with you and think it is definitely a big male rainbow. the cedar has some unique looking fish, which makes it tough to distinguish between cutthroat and rainbow sometimes. all said, you have caught some beautiful trout man. and by all means, don't take my word as gospel on your first picture. without seeing it in hand or having a dna sample i can't be sure. part of the fun is speculating given experience, morphological diagnostics, and a picture. take care.
I counted the scales on its lateral line and my estimate would be 72% rainbow - steelhead, 14% coastal cutthroat, 13.8% westslope and perhaps a small percentage of prickley sculpin (Cottus asper). I would have to open her up and count gill rakers to be sure. Awesome fish.