Colorado Fisherman Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The last few rainbows that I have kept and eaten have different color meat.....Some pink,some white. Does anyone know why or what causes this? (And yes they were cooked thoroughly)I was thinkin about it and only thing that came to me was that maybe some of them (either one either way) were stockers and some were not but that doesnt make any sense to me because the places ive been lately are not the type of lakes or locations to have natural fish there, if ya know what I mean.......All these lakes are that ive been tohave to be stockers and stockers only as far as rainbows go.....I dont know....... What do you guys think??????
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,399 Posts
Pink meat = wild trout or hold overs... light pink and a little white = hold overs.... white mushy = stocker trout.
Its all because of their diet and exercise stocker trout are fed pellets at the hatchery and are held in tanks, so their meat and muscle build up is different then wild trout and stockers that have been in the wild for a while (hold overs).
Usually the pinker the meat the better the trout taste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yea awesome ePiC I did notice that the pink (which I just ate) did taste alot better then the white mushy I had a month or so ago. The white mushy ones I got from Arvada Res. The one I ate tonight was from Chatfield which work2fish caught today. We tried to save the little bugger but she jacked herself up pretty good and didnt make it but she was good!! She actually wasnt a bad sized fish I measured her when I got home and it was a little over 14 inches and pretty healthy lookin.It made up 2 nice fillets and was the best rainbow ive eaten in while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,797 Posts
color is definatly due to diet there are some firm white color meated trout that taste real good also the longer the fish are in the river or lake the better they seam to taste and the better they fight the best ones are the ones they stock as fry ive caught so rainbows in ark feeder streams that were as white as could be but had fantastic firm flesh and from what i gather from the dow they only stock the ark (atleast here between salid and canon city) with fingerlings due to the whirling desease. the dow says that the fingerlings are large enough that the desease doesnt bother them much but they still grow up "wild" and are more sporting to catch. and i might add much tastyer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
definitely diet - in most lakes or reservoirs there is fresh water shrimp, scuds, and crawdads and are very high in protien. Trout that have been in these systems for a year or two and are feeding mainly on these food sources will have a nice salmon color meat. Stockers will have white mushy meat due to the dog food they have been raised on, but once they are introduced to a high protien diet I would think their meat would get healthier. Most trout in rivers will have whiter meat and I don't know if it is because they mainly eat insects. Good Question, but definitely a diet related thing.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
487 Posts
Red and pink meat is all about diet and how long they have been in the system. Even trout stocked as catchables can eventually aqquire tasty red meat.
Crawfish turn trout red or orange faster than anything. Freshwater shrimp or scuds turn meat orange and red but the process is a little slower. The higher the protein content, the faster the trout's flesh turn orange and tasty.
Trout that feed primarly on baitfish, such as in most rivers, have meat that is yellowish. The trout in the Colorado River gorge on suckers and chubs, so the meat is often yellow. They aren't near as good as the red meated variety.
White meated trout are either recently stocked, or live in waters where insects are the primary forage, such as in most high mountain small streams. They generally never really taste that great.

The best eating trout are blue mesa browns, vega reservoir rainbows, and any high mountain lake brookies that feed on freshwater shrimp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
You know I've wondered about the meat color variation from time, and now I know; great question and great answers, thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
The lakers I've eaten from Jefferson are really pink and orangeish. Can I assume they're just eating shrimp?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
Alot of good information so far, however it is not the protein content that turns fish flesh red or orange but the carotinoid content of the food they eat. As noted scuds and other freshwater crustaceans are high in carotinoids thus the red color. It really does not matter how long a fish has been a river/lake in relation to flesh color. The DOW hatcheries could add carotinoids to the standard diet and stocker fish would have red flesh. This is what the commercial trout hatcheries do for the trout they sell to restraunts or grocery stores. next time take a look at Atlantic Salmon sold in the grocery store, that color is not natural, but it is still a healthy fish to eat.

next time you catch lakers at Granby, kill a fish under 20"( they taste better at this size anyway IMHO) these fish have been feeding on mysis (high in carotinoids and omega 3 fatty acids) and will have nice orange/red flesh. When these lakers switch over to a fish diet, their flesh tends to turn white or grey.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,399 Posts
ClackaRam said:
It really does not matter how long a fish has been a river/lake in relation to flesh color. The DOW hatcheries could add carotinoids to the standard diet and stocker fish would have red flesh.

Well it kind of really does matter, the DOW does not add carotinoids while they are at the hatchery, I assume its a budget thing. The meat is still safe to eat, it just doesnt taste as good. The longer the fish is in the system the more natural carotinoids it will ingest turning the white stocker meat to a pinker color.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
Agreed, only if caratinoids are available in the food supply. Water quality also plays a big role in the taste of fish, it is not only diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Clackaram seems to have more experience and knowledge about fisheries biology and I enjoyed reading his reply. It makes perfect sense and is something we don't think about that often.

On another note: Do Not Buy Farm Raised Salmon. It is like buying a trout from the stocker truck or hatchery and taking it home and eating it. They inject color and fatty acids into these fish to make them look like real salmon. Most people don't know the difference.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top