Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

So I learned something this past weekend flyfishing - (I'm sure many of you know this) but I found it pretty cool.

There is a fin towards the tail of the trout called the adipose fin that is clipped off of all hatchery stocked trout. Obviously wild trout still possess this fin, which is how you can tell if you've caught a naturally raised trout or a hatchery raised trout.

I caught a wild brown on the blue river this weekend which was pretty cool. Here's an older picture, but it demonstrates the difference. Check it out on the next trout you catch


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Old 06-24-2011, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

This is not the case with all stockers and or hatcheries. It seems to me that in rivers they clip the adipose, but in most of the put and take lakes over here they clip one or both pectoral fins instead. Since there is only ONE native trout species in this state, does it really matter ?
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

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Originally Posted by .
This is not the case with all stockers and or hatcheries. It seems to me that in rivers they clip the adipose, but in most of the put and take lakes over here they clip one or both pectoral fins instead. Since there is only ONE native trout species in this state, does it really matter ?
The DOW does this to identify how healthy a body of water is - whether or not they are effectively spawning.

I thought it was pretty cool - and catching a trout that was born in the wild rather than pellet fed in a farm hatchery makes it more interesting to me
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

And yes - you may be correct about it applying to rivers (as I was fishing a river where I was shown this). And usually trout spawn more often in flowing river water...
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

Wow that is cool, I'll pay attention more to see that. But I have never fished in a river so, maybe not. But still cool, hehe.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

So you are saying that someone or groups of someones snips of the little fin of tens of thousands of little trout and you believe that. Right
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

Yes, he is right. In many cases, although not always, hatcheries do snip a fin...
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

Hmm, I live about 1 1/2 miles from a hatchery. Sometimes when they clean out the runways some of the baby trout wash down into the river. Runways are cleaned often. When this happens there are larger trout in the river waiting for them to eat. Some I am sure get away. These don't have any fins clipped. Just saying.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weezy
Quote:
Originally Posted by .
This is not the case with all stockers and or hatcheries. It seems to me that in rivers they clip the adipose, but in most of the put and take lakes over here they clip one or both pectoral fins instead. Since there is only ONE native trout species in this state, does it really matter ?
The DOW does this to identify how healthy a body of water is - whether or not they are effectively spawning. 

I thought it was pretty cool - and catching a trout that was born in the wild rather than pellet fed in a farm hatchery makes it more interesting to me
the reason they clip theectoraal and other additional fins is to designate year-classes of fish.  many hatcheries have the "codes" on their site.  so if you catch a stocker with the adipose/right pectoral fin, you can figure the age of the fish/year stocked.

another identifier is that - in general - a wild rainbow will have white tipped fins, where a stocker will not. fresh stockers will be a very featureless silver untill they are in the system eating natural foods and develop their "wild" coloring. Also, many times the dorsal fins of stocked trout are smaller than "wild" fish. All of this pretty much pertains to rainbows in this state, as browns are not normally stocked in rivers.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Identifying wild trout vs hatchery trout

Stocker trout can easily be identified by the fact that they are usually halfway down a real predator's gullet...like pike or wiper. Actually, wild trout can be identified this way too. That's the only way I care to identify them.
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