Yeah, I got into an argument with folks telling me that a Great Lakes steelhead is just a rainbow trout, if it doesn't go into the saltwater ocean.Edit: not trying to compare true ocean run steelhead to the great lakes version. Simply referring to their value as a gamefish regardless of life history.
I tease my friends on the Great Lakes about this. But, I've caught a bunch of Great Lakes steelhead - and none out here in the PNW. So, we get lotsa laughs out of that one...Yeah, I got into an argument with folks telling me that a Great Lakes steelhead is just a rainbow trout, if it doesn't go into the saltwater ocean.
I think you missed the point about being stocked in the 1800s and after "many generations" becoming wild fish not miraculously wild over night. Granted these are still not native.The stocked brown trout that now is miraculously wild. (paraphrased... )
Does that mean that stocked steelhead is now a wild one...or could be one?
Kinda kicks all those “kill the hatcheries” proponents to the curb.
freshwater - saltwater - freshwater = anadramousI tease my friends on the Great Lakes about this. But, I've caught a bunch of Great Lakes steelhead - and none out here in the PNW. So, we get lotsa laughs out of that one...
I think it is important to note in this context that populations descended from fish planted in the 19th and early 20th centuries were largely transplantings of fish whose genetics were "wild" (ie, they hadn't been selectively bred in captivity for the purpose of surviving under hatchery conditions). Moreover, many of the earlier stockings were of eggs implanted in suitable gravel, as, under the technical conditions prevailing, it was much easier to keep eggs viable than to transport live fish. As a result, these populations are not only derived from fish not bred for captivity, but from fish that never even spent one second in a hatchery tank or pond. Brook trout restoration projects here in Southern Appalachia in recent years have largely proceeded along the same lines, with a combination of fertilized eggs implanted in gravel and wild adult fish moved from nearby drainages. This produces fish that are wild in pretty much every way.Like so many things in the world of biology, the question isn't entirely black and white. Start be defining what is meant by a "stocked trout" and "wild." I saw that the author finally gives his definition of wild in the comments section following his article or essay - born in the river. So by his definition no stocked fish that began life in a hatchery can ever become wild no matter what selective pressures it experiences and survives once released into the natural environment.
He claims that fish stocked long ago, like the late 1800s, that have since naturalized and sustain natural populations came from wild fish. Well all hatchery fish at one time came from wild fish, but many of the stocked fish that generated subsequent wild populations were themselves originally produced in fish hatcheries and did not emerge from gravel, and therefore by his definition were not wild.
The upshot is that many populations of wild brown and rainbow trout today, in the east, mid-west, and Rocky mountain states originated from stocked hatchery trout. So the question about whether a stocked trout ever becomes wild appears purposely narrow and does not lead to a very comprehensive discussion about the nature and roles of hatchery and wild trout in today's world.
I see you copied the winky, but somehow missed it’s meaning.I think you missed the point about being stocked in the 1800s and after "many generations" becoming wild fish not miraculously wild over night. Granted these are still not native.
So a stocked steelhead isn't a wild steelhead, if that fish had spawned and the next generation spawned, then the next generation spawn and so on and so on for 150 years, all while adapting to their environment little by little, then yes that batch of steel could be considered "wild" fish.
I dont think it does anything to the hatchery proponent.
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