B_ILLY MAC fly catches mystery fish.

Hem

Active Member
That's a Brookie. In some water (esp. when they aren't in spawning colors) they take on a silvery sheen
Spots of a Brookie ,for sure. But wild to see one so silver. Based upon the known fish in this lake your comment is a good one...unless it's some sort of hybrid.
 

jasmillo

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I’m not so sure that is a brookie. Could be but unfortunately the pic does not include a clear view of the back, the dorsal or the tail. I have caught some lighter brookies but even then they showed some of the red surrounded by blue halo spots although they were muted.

We’re there black spots or markings on the dorsal? Clear wormian markings on the back? Almost looks like a sunapee but those are super rare, especially out west. Outside of northern New England, I think there are only a few spots in ID where you can catch them.
 

Cruik

Active Member
WFF Supporter
"Too silvery" isn't a great reason to rule out brook trout. The fins look pretty brookie like to me, as does the face.

Just statistically, I have to believe that a slightly atypical coloration of a species known to be present seems more likely than either a natural hybrid or a species not previously known to be present.

Although I do like the theory that a lake trout snuck in and THEN spawned with a Brook trout. That's a fun theory.
 

troutpocket

Active Member
Could have been a “whoops” at the Hatchery too. If splake are reared in the same facility, might have ended up on the truck with brookies.
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout
you know I recently learned that a white fish is a type of char as well
Hmm..unless something has changed very recently, Salvelinus and Coregonus are different subfamily, whitefish are not chars without a good reach, all are family Salmonidae, indeed.

Char and whitefish are more closely related than whitefish and suckers are.

Depends on how large a lumper : )

@cabezon
clarify ? -just for the record
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.38.21 PM.png
 
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Hem

Active Member
Great suggestions by all.
Tough one. I wish I was playing a game and actually knew the answer. To refresh the known...lake regulations indicate Brown trout, Rainbow, Brook , and kokanee. It is a rather shallow body of water probably not cold enough to sustain Lake Trout.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Hi Gyrfalcon,
[If you want the short answer, skip to the last paragraph.] What you have presented is a classic old-school taxonomic (Linnaean) grade clustering of genera into three families within the family Salmonidae. Traditionally, these hierarchies of nested clusters have been a matter of scientific opinion and groups placed at the same level may actually have evolved from one another. In your example, this system does not tell us which of the 8 genera in the subfamily Salmoninae evolved from which others (or even from one of the other subfamilies). This is pre-evolutionary perspective - an organizational scheme that reflects superficial similarities and places greater weight on evolutionary innovations after the group seprated than it does on actual evolutionary history. For example, the fossil and molecular evidence strongly indicates that Class Aves (birds) evolved from theropod dinosaurs within the Class Reptilia (a mess of a) turtles, b) snakes and lizards, c) crocs and alligators, and d) the tuatara, as well as their extinct relatives - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reptile). Similarly, Class Mammalia (mammals) evolved from synapsids, also known as "mammal-like" reptiles (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_mammals). So, under the Linnaean system, groups with equivalent grade designations: Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles can have evolved from each other.

The more modern approach is called cladistics (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladistics) in which a taxonomic group includes only groups with a common ancestor. Essentially, it defines taxa as branching groups (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archosauriformes for example of the clades leading to the evolution of dinosaurs and birds and crocs). This produces voluminous branching diagrams, much like a family tree, but it doesn't organize groups into the traditional grade names (because these often do not include just a common ancestor and descendants; they are not "monophyletic"). [To be honest, it is easier to teach via the Linnean system, but it isn't accurate.]

So, what about the Salmoniformes? The application of molecular biology has broken many bottlenecks in our understanding of the evolution of most forms of life on Earth. Morphological characteristics can be subject to convergence (e.g., bird and bat wings) in which similar solutions reflect independent acquisition of a structure, not common evolutionary history. Examining similarities in DNA among species provides huge databases of evolutionary information, albeit with their own biases and problems. Crete-Lafreniere et al. 2012 (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0046662) used molecular sequencing to examine the evolution of the salmonid fishes. I have included the last figure from their paper.
View attachment journal.pone.0046662.g003.jpg
What does this figure indicate? First, all the Oncorhynchus species (Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout) are more closely related to each other than they are to the chars (genus Salvelinus). Both Oncorhynchus, as currently described, and Salvelinus form monophyletic groups. The sister genus to the common ancestor of Oncorhynchys+Salvelinus+Parahucho (taiman) clade is the genus Salmo (e.g., Atlantic salmon and brown trout). The graylings (genus Thymallus), the whitefishes in the genus Coregonus, and the whitefishes in the genus Prosopium also form a monophyletic clades. The two whitefish genera are the farthest, evolutionarily, from the salmon and trout according to this genetic analysis.
Long-winded way to answer your question but an interesting question too.
Steve
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout
Thanks, Steve! I knew you'd have an indepth answer we have come to expect from your expertise on many science matters.

Great stuff!

Likely some, (many ?) missing links in the family trees, I expect, or likely? Ghost branches? Or do we find pretty good modern molecular evidence for keeping things tidy?
 
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