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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: It's a ____ salmon! Or...?  (Read 2697 times)

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Clayman

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I'm reposting this from another thread on the CA Regulations board.

I caught this fish in October 2011 from a drift boat on the Trinity River, near Junction City.  I have a pretty good idea of what it is, but wanted to post it here to show the importance of knowing more than one way to differentiate among CA salmonids.  Most folks go by the "all black gums is a Chinook, black mouth with white gums at base of teeth is a coho, all white mouth is a steelhead" rule.  It's a reliable ID tool most of the time...until you run into fish like the one posted below.

What do you think it is?  And for what it's worth, I released the fish.
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Tote

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Looks like a brown on crack.
<=>


RacinRob

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Looks like the Coho pics I've seen from Oroville.
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crash

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Looks like a brown on crack.

I said coastal cutthroat on steroids. It does look more trout than salmon to me, but I have not any idea what that thing is.


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Spots on the lower half of its cadual = one-spot fringehead?
Sweet fish, that much is clear!


krusty

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Large spots on both the upper and lower tail: coho, brown trout
Spots on tail not small and in distinct rows: steelhead
Leading edge of anal fin is relatively short, when folded falls short of middle of fin: coho,steelhead
So I vote chinook salmon.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:18:26 PM by krusty »


wizz

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Looks like a sea run brown to me. Ive actually caught those on all but 2 trips to the trinity.
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bmb

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Same thing as I said in another thread, a female pinook.  She might have strayed from the Northwest where they are uncommon but not unheard of.


Clayman

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It's a helluva strange-looking fish ain't it?  :smt044 I wasn't sure what I'd caught at first either.  First look at the gums showed the mouth to be almost completely white.  So then I fell back on some other ID tools, most of which Krusty used.  Those being:

  • Anal fin is a lot wider than it is long, a Pacific salmon trait.  That eliminated any kind of trout, including brown trout.
  • Spots on both lobes of the caudal fin.  This made it unlikely the fish was a coho.

Given that the river was full of dark Chinook at the time, I signed it off as a Chinook jack.  But I never thought about a pinook like bmb2.0 mentioned.  Some Internet research shows pinooks to only be found in the Great Lakes, which makes it extremely unlikely this was a pinook given the lack of pinks in the Trinity or CA in general (though I've heard of a few caught in this river).  The pictures of pinooks show fish that are very similar-looking to the fish I caught.  Maybe I should've posted this photo a couple years ago, because now I'm starting to re-think my ID!
aMayesing Bros.


polepole

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Large spots on both the upper and lower tail: coho, brown trout

I thought coho generally have spots on the upper lobe of the tail only ???

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polepole

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It's a helluva strange-looking fish ain't it?  :smt044 I wasn't sure what I'd caught at first either.  First look at the gums showed the mouth to be almost completely white.  So then I fell back on some other ID tools, most of which Krusty used.  Those being:

  • Anal fin is a lot wider than it is long, a Pacific salmon trait.  That eliminated any kind of trout, including brown trout.
  • Spots on both lobes of the caudal fin.  This made it unlikely the fish was a coho.

Given that the river was full of dark Chinook at the time, I signed it off as a Chinook jack.  But I never thought about a pinook like bmb2.0 mentioned.  Some Internet research shows pinooks to only be found in the Great Lakes, which makes it extremely unlikely this was a pinook given the lack of pinks in the Trinity or CA in general (though I've heard of a few caught in this river).  The pictures of pinooks show fish that are very similar-looking to the fish I caught.  Maybe I should've posted this photo a couple years ago, because now I'm starting to re-think my ID!

But both Pinks and Chinook have black in the mouth.  Why would a hybrid have white?

Those face spots really have me thinking Atlantic, because it just doesn't look like a brown to me.

-Allen
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:37:31 PM by polepole »
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rockfish

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I stick with the searun brown ID from the other thread.
Do it until you scream, then a short pause is acceptable.
Mental?  perhaps


polepole

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I stick with the searun brown ID from the other thread.

Yeah, I just looked at it again.  I could probably get on board with Brown too.

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