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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reminded me of a question I wanted to ask...here are pictures of browns I've caught in the same water the last couple nights...Looking at the colors of the fins, spots and the reddish body, is this the work of brook trout "cross-pollination?"

The colorations in the first two seem more prevalent in the places I've caught a handful of brookies over the last 4 years. In other areas, the browns caught have no black/white stripe on fins nor and red shade on body or in spots (last pic).

Wondered about it for awhile, thought I'd ask experts :)





 

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Perhaps I'm not fully understanding your question. All of the trout appear to be brown trout. Even though brown and brook trout spawn in the fall hybridization between the two is extremely rare in the wild. Such crosses (most commonly the result of egg and milt manipulation in the hatchery) result in the so-called "tiger trout" which has a very distinctive marking pattern (usually described as "reticulated" or net-like), and being a cross between a trout (of the genus Salmo) and a char (of the genus Salvelinus), is sterile.

Coloration in salmonids can vary quite a bit, frequently in response to habitat conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perhaps I'm not fully understanding your question. All of the trout appear to be brown trout. Even though brown and brook trout spawn in the fall hybridization between the two is extremely rare in the wild. Such crosses (most commonly the result of egg and milt manipulation in the hatchery) result in the so-called "tiger trout" which has a very distinctive marking pattern (usually described as "reticulated" or net-like), and being a cross between a trout (of the genus Salmo) and a char (of the genus Salvelinus), is sterile.

Coloration in salmonids can vary quite a bit, frequently in response to habitat conditions.
Thanks...that's what I was looking for. I'm not much of a biologist and the coloring of the first two seemed to resemble brook trout enough, thought I'd ask.
 

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All of your pictures (while beautiful fish) are what I'd consider to fall well within the realm of your standard, garden-variety brown trout.

Among the trout I normally see, browns seem to have far more variance and range that is considered "normal coloration and markings" than any other salmonid. While brookies, bows, and cutts all see some degree of variability, browns show significant variation, anything from olive-brown tint of a mostly pale body, to bright copper, to safety yellow...and that's just the main tone, not accounting for the shape, density, size, and coloring of the spots, or any fin markings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah...I've seen all that you mentioned (caught some the other night that match the "safety yellow"). I guess my question was based in the colorations and markings of brook trout that seem almost identical in the fish in the pics.

I just pulled this pic off the internet (so don't yell at me for killing and/or having a mounted trout :), and the black/white stripes on brook trout fins are exactly like the browns and the reddish/pink color of the inner spots of the brook are print on the one brown:



Enough for me to wonder, anyway.

Thanks
 

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Oh no doubt there's a lot of similarities, but like Preston said, the two gene pools are on different branches of the salmonid family tree, and far enough apart that the fact that they can cross-breed at all is fairly remarkable...but when they *do*, you get sterile tigers or nothing. You don't get this sort of "express some genes here and some there" spectrum like we see in...say...dog breeds (which are all members of the same species, sharing their entire genome). It's an all-or-nothing situation, and while there's no shortage of "is my brown/brook trout a tiger?" posts across the internet, to the trained eye, there's no mistaking brown for brook (in wild fish...fresh out of the hatchery, they're all pretty uniformly sickly, with only the occasional extra set of jaws or missing gill plates to set them apart)...there's just noting some similar traits that happen to be reminiscent of the other but have no basis in cross-breeding.

FWIW, within the realm of tiger trout, there does tend to be somewhat of a spectrum, with tigers on either end looking very much like mom or dad, but the vast majority of tigers are very much unique from either parent in their overall appearance.
 

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Brook trout and brown trout rarely mate successfully. If they do, their offspring are called "tiger trout" (sorry I don't have photo). The tigers have a very distinctive color pattern and look nothing like the photos the OP posted. Looking at the fish in the net, I suspect that the fish is just a brown trout. Tigers are sterile and thus are just a hybrid "sport". I have been fishing here in New England most of my life and have only seen one wild tiger. NH tried stocking them in a few ponds, but the fertilization rate was so low they discontinued the practice.
 

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Talking about the coloring on Brown Trout. I have caught some that were silver in color. The spots were all the same, but were silver.
Yep, same here. Generally larger fish from bigger water...based on my advanced degrees from the school of my ass, I always figured that was due to water with less dissolved mineral content and a diet consisting more predominantly of baitfish, rather than a more balanced breakfast of bugs and crawfish as the same fish might enjoy when it was smaller and/or living in smaller water.
 

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As I noted above, the coloration of trout (and char) can vary considerably, depending on a number of factors including habitat and sexual maturity. One fairly certain indicator of trout versus char is dark spots on a light field (trout) as opposed to light spots on a dark background (char).
 

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Interesting discussion.
Has anyone every seen or caught a Splake?

Someone told me there is a lake in Washington that has them, but I've never had an opportunity to fish it.
Not sure if that is the truth or folklore that Splake are present here.
SF

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splake
 

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(in wild fish...fresh out of the hatchery, they're all pretty uniformly sickly, with only the occasional extra set of jaws or missing gill plates to set them apart)...
Isnt this the truth!? The stocked brookies around here pale in comparison to their wild stream bred brethren.

I have also read about some streams here in NC that regularly produce Tigers.
 

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NH tried stocking them in a few ponds, but the fertilization rate was so low they discontinued the practice.
Probably because they are sterile.

That said, tigers do benefit from what is colloquially known as "hybrid vigor"...in laymans terms, the trout's body "knows" it can't breed, so resources that might have been devoted to reproduction instead are devoted to growth...similar to triploid rainbows.
 
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