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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A buddy of mine sent these photos of this 17 inch cuttie on the SF of the Snoqualmie today. Mighty big fish for those waters, unfortunately also dead.

Said buddy also asked:

"Disappointing he had met his last day. I did not see anything wrong with him, except a hole behind his deformed eye. Only on one side. Does anyone know if this is hole in the head disease? Take a look at the photos. The hole is about the size of a penny."

I'd never previously heard of the hole in the head disease, but a quick Bing produces all sorts of mention of it, though mostly about decorative fish. Anyone ever see signs of this disease and what do you make of the photos? :ray1:
 

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I've heard of lateral line erosion and hole in the head disease and my understanding is that they are one and the same. I was also under the impresion that it only affects aquarim bound fish. I could be wrong though.
 

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Hole in the head disease, usually fatal, is often caused by Twentytwous Caliberus. Should the opposite side of the head be missing it was probably the larger, but related species Fortyfourus Magnumus or even possibly the larger still Buckus Shotus. However, the hole is usually not present in such cases and neither is the head.

Oops, you said armchair biologist, I thought you said armchair smart ass, never mind.
 

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While it's tempting to speculate that the big cutt died as a result of some mysterious illness, Occam's Razon (the simplest explanation is usually the correct one) suggests that it's perhaps more likely that it simply expired as a result of old age. Fish don't live forever, and in most habitats, the average trout lifespan is 6 or 7 years. Given how relatively infertile the SF is (like most wetside streams), it must have taken quite some time for that fish to achieve its 17 inch length.

K
 

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Doesn't look like HITH to me. Of course I've never seen it on a trout before. Actually, never seen it on any fish that is living in a natural environment. When I was breeding large south american cichlids, it would show up if a fish grew too large for the tank, the tanks got overcrowded, or if something got f-ed up in my sump tank systems. Usually the latter. That fish looks like something crushed it's skull. Not sure how a wild fish would get a disease that is related to fish living in an artifical environment. Of course, I'm no Biologist.
 

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Doubtful that it would be Head & Lateral Line Erosion Disease in a wild environment. Non-anadromous cutthroats seldom exceed that size, so like Kent Lufkin said it may have croaked from old age. The damage may have resulted from bashing into rocks post-mortem.
 

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Hole in the head disease, usually fatal, is often caused by Twentytwous Caliberus. Should the opposite side of the head be missing it was probably the larger, but related species Fortyfourus Magnumus or even possibly the larger still Buckus Shotus. However, the hole is usually not present in such cases and neither is the head.

Oops, you said armchair biologist, I thought you said armchair smart ass, never mind.
HaHa... You stole my thunder!
 

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Weird thing is it is also missing the typical red slash under throat on most (if not all) cutties I have nabbed on the SF. Almost looks like a searun - was he for sure above the falls? Just wondering ....

Stew

P.S. Assuming we're talking about the SF of the Sno here ...
 

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We're all assuming that it was found washed up on the bank, right? He didn't catch it, did he?

I agree with the others who said "old age". That big of a cut in the SF of the Snoqualmie lived to be a ripe old age.
 

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Weird thing is it is also missing the typical red slash under throat on most (if not all) cutties I have nabbed on the SF. Almost looks like a searun - was he for sure above the falls? Just wondering ....

Stew

P.S. Assuming we're talking about the SF of the Sno here ...
Could have been some dumbass' version of stocking a river? Or a prank of some sort? Has anyone ever seen a 17" anything in the SF?
 

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I've seen some close to 17 almost every year the past 3 or 4 ... they are there.

Stew
Just proves my point....I'm not a good fisherman.

The hole does look like some sort of wound that has eroded further. Possibly a trailer hook.
 

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The largest fish I've ever caught on any of the Sno forks was a 17" cutt on the S. Fork. So, yes, they are there. Ironically, I fish the S. Fork less than the other two forks mostly for aesthetic reasons despite having caught larger fish on the S. Fork.
Dick
 

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Sounds like I need to find a better strip of the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Stew,

Yep, for sure above the falls. He found the fish dead in the river. I suppose there are many possible explanations for the missing slash- hybridization, etc, although it looks pretty pure Coastal Cutt minus the slash.
 
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