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Since I had a day off today I braved the weather and hit the lower poudre. Broke the tip off my rod in the first 10 minutes and fought my guides Icing up but ended up having a good day and the bonus was there wasn't anyone around for miles.

I did catch this deformed sort of rainbow(13")...one of it's pectoral fins is missing....just a stump. It doesn't look like an injury to me but a deformity. The other pectoral fin is there but stumpy with a finer tip. I have caught other 'bow's in the Poudre with the same deformities. Does anyone know what the deal is with these?

Caught some decent (13-17") browns too and I have a question about these since I am kind of new to this trout thing....My understanding is that some Browns die after spawning (but not all)...Is this correct? I saw a few dead browns in the river and caught a couple that were dull and blackish and didn't look like they'd last long (though they were eating apparently) I also caught one 17" that was BEAUTIFUL...bright and strong and hit my rapala like a freight train.

If they do die after spawning and you catch them with the dark post spawn coloring is it ok to eat them if they don't look like they'll make it? Do they taste different with spawning colors? And finally...probably a really dumb question...are they red meat like salmon and wild rainbows? I have never eaten browns before. 



 
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Your rainbow looks like maybe the fish was "marked" at the hatchery by clipping the pectoral fin.

Trout don't necessarily die after spawning. Sometimes the r5igors of spawning will stress the fish to the extent they succumb to disease and end up dieing.

I don't usually kill any brown trout, so I can't answer your other questions.
 

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Alot of stocker trout have damaged fins its caused at the hatcheries rubbing up against each other and what not.
Also spawning can be hard on any species of fish and some may die, its not just brown trout. They however dont die off like salmon if thats what you mean.
 

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It all depends- the environment the fish lives in determines the coloring and flavor of the meat.
 
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I agree with slayerfish on the enviorment on how the fish taste and color, it also depends on oxygen, if the fish are in stagnet water with no real current the fish will tend to catch a deases and die even though they are trying to eat. I landed a 21inch rainbow in the poudre last sunday in a really shallow place that had no current and was stagnet, when i released the fish it almost turned belly up, it didnt look like it was gonna make it. Also as far as taste goes fish like the one I just mentioned, there meat will often be real mushy and soft.
 

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That's a hatchery fish, which accounts for the stubby fin, as ePiC stated.  Stubby fins are common wherever fish are stocked.  Gill covers (opercula) are often shortened in hatchery fish, too.  When they are, you can see the red of the gills without opening them up.  Hatcheries don't typically mark fish by cutting important fish (like pectorals).  The clip adipose, dorsal, or anal fins if they have a reason to mark them.

If a post-spawn fish looks like they aren't going to make it, its probably because they've used up their energy reserves and are catabolizing (using up) their other tissues (they are basically using their muscle tissue itself as energy). This degrades the quality and texture of the meat. If the fat is used up, you won't have that to help the flavor, either. You might like the flavor though, anyway. Some people do.
 

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Cutthroat said:
That's a hatchery fish, which accounts for the stubby fin, as ePiC stated. Stubby fins are common wherever fish are stocked. Gill covers (opercula) are often shortened in hatchery fish, too. When they are, you can see the red of the gills without opening them up. Hatcheries don't typically mark fish by cutting important fish (like pectorals). The clip adipose, dorsal, or anal fins if they have a reason to mark them.



Hence the mushy flesh of post spawn trout?

Dan
If a post-spawn fish looks like they aren't going to make it, its probably because they've used up their energy reserves and are catabolizing (using up) their other tissues (they are basically using their muscle tissue itself as energy). This degrades the quality and texture of the meat. If the fat is used up, you won't have that to help the flavor, either. You might like the flavor though, anyway. Some people do.
 
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