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Thread: Thoughts on trout variation in the Smokies

  1. #1
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    Default Thoughts on trout variation in the Smokies

    I was browsing through some old threads from years ago, and came across this:

    Lennon does a good job explaining what a long jaw is, but all in all this report is pretty good evidence that the trout we have in the GSMNP are pretty much a DNA cocktail. Joe Manley told me that he personally helped stock a lot of cutthroat in the GSMNP.
    It got me to thinking. Over the years, I have caught quite a few vividly colored rainbows that have the very distinct red/orange throat slashes like cutthroat trout. Most of these have came from the same two or three creeks that are in close proximity to each other on the NC side of the park. I wonder if those could be residual cutthroat genes, or just a weird color variation? I haven't caught fish like that anywhere else that I can remember offhand. Have any of y'all seen this? Where at? Thoughts?
    Specks: the other pink meat.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by just a hillbilly View Post
    I was browsing through some old threads from years ago, and came across this:



    It got me to thinking. Over the years, I have caught quite a few vividly colored rainbows that have the very distinct red/orange throat slashes like cutthroat trout. Most of these have came from the same two or three creeks that are in close proximity to each other on the NC side of the park. I wonder if those could be residual cutthroat genes, or just a weird color variation? I haven't caught fish like that anywhere else that I can remember offhand. Have any of y'all seen this? Where at? Thoughts?
    I cant necessarily speak for the park fish, but we see it all the time on Clinch. I'd love to know what it stems from and is probably part of the genetic cocktail that the stocked tailwater fish have in their DNA. It may be left over from stockings done decades ago in the park.

  3. #3
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    Crossville, TN
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    I see that quite often throughout the Park. Interestingly, according to GSMNP fisheries biologist Matt Kulp, there is no "official" record of cutthroat trout being stocked. That said, having caught them on both the TN and NC side, I personally think there is definitely some cutthroat heritage present. Very interesting topic for sure!

  4. #4
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    Quite interesting. After exhausting Google on "rainbow trout with red throat slashes," "rainbow trout color variations," and similar search strings; I have found absolutely no mention of this anywhere else, except in reference to rainbow/cutthroat hybrids out west. Apparently the throat slashes are the main determining feature of a cuttbow compared to a rainbow. So, I have no idea?
    Specks: the other pink meat.

  5. #5
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    I don't know anything about the cutthroat stocking, but I have seen some of what you are talking about. I've noticed for years the different color variations in the Browns and Rainbow from one water shed to another. I think the color of the water and sub strata color variations make a big difference in the color of the fish.
    Last edited by flyman; 02-18-2018 at 02:18 AM. Reason: 42
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