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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: It's a ____ salmon! Or...?  (Read 2738 times)

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Mr.Matt

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Looks like a sea run brown.
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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!

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

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

-Allen
I've seen the black gums fade a lot in Chinook that've been in the river a while.  Not on all of them, but enough of them to make it noticeable.  Check out a couple pics of the gums of these Chinook I caught the same year from the Trinity.  But like you said Allen, the spotting on the fish in question is noticeably "off" from what you see on most Chinook.  I didn't really consider Atlantics since they're so darn rare in CA, and though I'm not too familiar with Atlantics, the pictures I see of them usually show the fish with very roundish spots.  Chinook (and pinks) tend to have those big, blotchy spots like the fish in the net.  This fish is spottier than most Chinook I've seen though.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:47:22 PM by Clayman »
aMayesing Bros.


polepole

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Even those latest pics are darker than white (I guess that means grey!).  The original pic is more white than not (less than grey!).  Do you recall what color the tongue was?

-Allen
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Derrick A2H

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Ill call steel head on this just because it has that pink sheen in the face that browns wouldnt
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polepole

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And the tail spots are mildy pink like, but the rest of the body doesn't resemble anything pink to me.  The body and head shape are just wrong and the scales are too big.  Never mind that the coloring is way off.

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Clayman

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As for a brown trout, I really think the width of the anal fin says it's not a trout.  A trout's anal fin is about as wide as it is long.  This fish's anal fin is much wider than long, indicating to me it's a Pacific salmon.

Upon further research, it appears Atlantic salmon have anal fins that are similar to a trout's, making the fish less likely of being an Atlantic.

Even those latest pics are darker than white (I guess that means grey!).  The original pic is more white than not (less than grey!).  Do you recall what color the tongue was?

-Allen
Yeah, but they're not dark black like you see in a fresh ocean-caught Chinook.  And these are just from the handful of salmon I've caught in the Trinity when I had a decent camera.  Indicating to me that there's likely a lot of variation in the general population if I'm seeing this much variation in my tiny sample size.  So what's to say a Chinook might develop a near-white mouth as its body digests itself?  It's been a few years, but I recall the entire mouth being pretty white with maybe a hint of grey.
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polepole

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As for a brown trout, I really think the width of the anal fin says it's not a trout.  A trout's anal fin is about as wide as it is long.  This fish's anal fin is much wider than long, indicating to me it's a Pacific salmon.

Upon further research, it appears Atlantic salmon have anal fins that are similar to a trout's, making the fish less likely of being an Atlantic.

Even those latest pics are darker than white (I guess that means grey!).  The original pic is more white than not (less than grey!).  Do you recall what color the tongue was?

-Allen
Yeah, but they're not dark black like you see in a fresh ocean-caught Chinook.  And these are just from the handful of salmon I've caught in the Trinity when I had a decent camera.  Indicating to me that there's likely a lot of variation in the general population if I'm seeing this much variation in my tiny sample size.  So what's to say a Chinook might develop a near-white mouth as its body digests itself?  It's been a few years, but I recall the entire mouth being pretty white with maybe a hint of grey.

Dude, aren't you the fish bio?  You tell us what it is!!!   :smt006

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Uminchu Naoaki

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Yeah, the white gums threw me off a little but I've seen some Chinook with lost color mouth in the carcass survey. The large spots & spots on the tail top to bottom make me think that it's Chinook.
But the white on the edge of the pelvic fin is just from the light?
Brown has rounder spots with a halo.
Hard to see from the pic but caudal fin are more forked like salmon.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 09:08:04 PM by Uminchu Naoaki »


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I say gill it and eat it like the SSS rule says, we dont need no damn mutant fish in the T!!!   :smt044 :smt044
Do it until you scream, then a short pause is acceptable.
Mental?  perhaps


krusty

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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 ???

-Allen

That is why I crossed coho off as a possible fish.


krusty

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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

Do salmon hybridize?


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 ???

-Allen

That is why I crossed coho off as a possible fish.


Hah!  I didn't even see the crossout.  And I've been thinking about those tail spots too.  Not consistent with brown.  Not entirely consistent with Atlantic too, but some strains of Atlantic have tail spotting.

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polepole

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Look familiar?



Suspected pinook from the Buskin river in Alaska.

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Dude, aren't you the fish bio?  You tell us what it is!!!   :smt006

-Allen
I think it's a Chinook, but it's always good to get second opinions because this remains the strangest-looking Chinook I've ever caught.

All these different answers of Chinook, coho, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and steelhead tells me a warden might have trouble IDing a fish like this in the field.  Which reiterates the need to know more than one way to identify a Chinook from other similar-looking fish  :smt001.
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Look familiar?



Suspected pinook from the Buskin river in Alaska.

-Allen
It's uncanny for sure!  But man, I keep thinking of "what are the odds of a pinook showing up on the West Coast, let alone the Trinity River?" From what I've read on the Internet, pinooks are only found in the Great Lakes region.  Did you find something that says they're found in the Pacific?  Then add to the fact that there isn't exactly a "robust" population of pink salmon anywhere in CA or southern Oregon.  The odds man...
aMayesing Bros.