View Full Version : keeping trout

04-29-2007, 10:36 PM
twice a year--the state releases trout into the waters of war fork--these are remote waters in Jackson county Ky--this time the rainbows released were 15 inches and more---took a 3wt rod and headed for "the fork"these are of course domestic fish--they lack something,when catching them--probably it is the notion that trout not wild are second rate---caught my limit in an hour or so---took them home for supper----i generally keep the trout i catch in the smoky's,if they are large enough----I reallly like trout fried,grilled,etc----here is the question----Maybe it is just me,but the farm raised,domestic trout,released into our streams are are not as tasty as the wild trout caught out of the cold waters of real trout streams---am I right?If I am right why is this so????

04-29-2007, 10:49 PM
First of all...you are absolutely right - no "factory" fish is going to taste as good as a wild fish - the flesh just isn't as firm, etc. Secondly, the point of whether to keep or release is a highly personal one - as long as one follows the law, there is no right answer. For me, it definitely depends on the circumstances and the species involved. Down here, I have no qualms about keeping bream, croaker, or speckled trout (not y'all's specs, spotted sea trout); these species reproduce in vast numbers - in the case of speckled trout, they start spawning once the water temperature hits 70, and they spawn all Summer, right up til October. On the other hand, I tend to release bass, and the larger redfish - big redfish tend to get coarse, and aren't that good to eat anyway. As for trout, I really love the brookies - they're the species I like to target - and I release all of them. So far, I haven't caught many rainbows that have been legal, and I've let them go anyway. However, I don't see anything wrong with keeping a few 'bows - it might actually help the fishery a bit, to thin them out a bit and allow the remaining fish to grow a bit larger.

04-29-2007, 11:04 PM
Interesting question? What else could affect the taste other than quality of water, "feed" or maybe even stress? And does this reverse within a certain amount of time in a trout stream? Too deep for me. Maybe someone has a better explination...


04-29-2007, 11:46 PM
You can even taste the difference in wild shrimp versus farm-raised shrimp...I think just having to live in a natural environment and battling the tide, (or current in the case of trout) makes a difference. Certainly, the water quality can't be good in a closed system like a hatchery pen.

04-30-2007, 08:18 AM
If I plan on eating them I have no problem keeping them. I never keep more than what I can eat in one sitting.

04-30-2007, 08:31 AM
I rarely keep any fish. But I am going to be spending 3 days in the backcountry later this week and thought I might take a couple for dinner each evening. Anybody want to share their favorite way to prepare trout in the backcountry?

04-30-2007, 08:48 AM
I rarely keep any fish. But I am going to be spending 3 days in the backcountry later this week and thought I might take a couple for dinner each evening. Anybody want to share their favorite way to prepare trout in the backcountry?

raw. :cool:

04-30-2007, 08:57 AM
I wouldn't try the "Smokies sushi"...I read somewhere that you can only eat saltwater fish raw, and at that, I wouldn't mess with anything but bluewater species. It probably wouldn't kill you, but you'd get some nasty parasites. I'm not sure why freshwater fish are off limits, but I know it can get you quite sick.

04-30-2007, 09:19 AM
I rarely keep any fish to eat other than crappie or a mess of gills. I do like to keep some wild trout when camping but the stockers are not worth eating in my opinion. They are raised in a concrete hatchery being fed pellets similiar to dogfood. They have that mushy texture and bland flavor. I've heard Steve Moore, the parks chief fishery biologist say he wished people would keep more of the small 8-13" bows. The LR holds so many of them (I believe 3000 per mile) and it would probably improve the quality of bigger fish over time if we all did. I just hate to carry around a creel onstream.

Rog 1
04-30-2007, 09:53 AM
I grew up spending summers in Tn. munching on the benefits of my Grandfather's outings into the park. Even now when I can get back I still enjoy a few of the jewels when I am camping.
The easiest way to enjoy a few of these in the backcountry is to bake them in foil...take a lemon in with you, a little salt and pepper, and a couple of sprigs of rosemary. Salt and pepper them, add a little rosemary to the cavity and squeeze some lemon juice on the mix wrap in foil and bake over the coals for about 15-20 minutes.
Fresh vs. farm.....all you need to do is to stand in front of the case in the seafood section and look at the fish....all the same dull color, mushy looking meat and remember that they have been eating food pellets....a wild fish has the colors of their surroundings...wild...have clear firm flesh and have lived in fast flowing, clean water eating what nature intended.
The idea of thinning out a few of the small fish is a plus anywhere....I have seen the effect in the Park when they tried to fish out Lynn Camp Prong one year in an attempt to help start a brookie program....made everyone bring out any fish not a brookie that was caught no matter the size....the result was the next year there were more trout caught and the average size was up 1-2 inches....

04-30-2007, 09:57 AM
The only way I will eat a stocker is to put it on the smoker to give it some flavor. I never keep the wild trout but always C&R. Stockers on the other hand, usually will not last multiple seasons so you're probably doing them a favor by keeping them.

lauxier, I am not familiar with War Fork and grew up in the area. Would like to try it out sometime. Have asked the state about starting annual stockings of Horse Lick Creek in Rockcastle Co. but got no response.