About the Fish We Chase / "Trout" Hybrids and Genetic (Color) Variations

A cutbow (Oncorhynchus clarkii × mykiss) is an interspecific fertile hybrid between a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and a cutthroat trout (O. clarkii). Cutbow hybrids may occur naturally where the native ranges of both species overlap--coastal rainbow trout (O. mykiss irideus) and coastal cutthroat trout (O. clarkii clarkii) and Columbia River redband trout (O. mykiss gardineri) and westslope cutthroat trout (O. clarkii lewisi)

In the 1880s, rainbow trout were stocked in a number of different waters that had cutthroat trout in them. Shortly after, cutbows were prominent in these waters. Cutbows are created when the female cutthroat trout's eggs are fertilized by a bigger male rainbow trout. Many fishermen get the cutbow confused with rainbow and cutthroat trout. The cutbow has red or orange slash markings under the jaw and a silver body. Though most cutbow have dots on their bodies, patterns vary between each fish.

How to identify a cutbow? In some states it illegal to kill a cutthroat but some recommend killing hybrids

cutbow trout

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Tiger Trout - (source: Wikipedia) The tiger trout (Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis) is a sterile, intergeneric hybrid of the brown trout (Salmo trutta) and the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). The name derives from the pronounced vermiculations, which evoke the stripes of a tiger. The fish is an anomaly in the wild, with the brook trout having 84 chromosomes and the brown trout 80. The cross itself is unusual in that the parents are members of different genera.

Tiger trout can be produced reliably in hatcheries. This is done by fertilizing brown trout eggs with brook trout milt and heat shocking, causing the creation of an extra set of chromosomes and increasing survival rates from 5% to 85%. Tiger trout are known to be highly piscivorous (fish-eating), and are a good control against rough fish populations. This makes tigers popular with many fish stocking programs, such as with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Their own population numbers can be tightly controlled as well, since they are sterile.

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Donaldson Trout - (source: troutfishinghelp.blogspot.com)  Donaldson trout (sometimes called, "Super Trout") is a special hybrid trout which is part steelhead, cutthroat, and rainbow trout. These trout get their name from the man who originally created this hybrid, Lauren Donaldson. If you're interested, they're officially classified as Oncorhynchus Mykiss (same as steelhead and rainbow trout).

image credit: Captain Compassion on fishsniffer.com/forums

For more information:

Donaldson Trout Explained by troutfishinghelp.blogspot.com


Golden Rainbow Trout - The golden rainbow trout is simply a color variation of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). They were first developed by the State of West Virginia in 1949 but were not stocked until 1963. They have since been introduced into many other states across the US as a "novelty". They are referred to by several different names including lightening trout in the western states, banana trout in the rocky mountain states, palomino trout (wrong) as there is another and different color variation called the palomino trout (see below).

More reading:

Origins of the Golden Rainbow Trout by Jerry Denson/OnlyOnTrout.com


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Palomino trout - It seems that there is much confusion between the palomino trout and the golden rainbow trout. After several hours of research, I have come to the conclusion that although the palomino trout is very similar in appearance and origin to the golden rainbow trout, they are not the same. There are numerous articles that clearly state that the palomino trout was developed by the state of Pennsylvania and first stocked in 1967. Several of the articles also say that the palomino trout was "somewhat paler in color and had a less pronounced red stripe on its side. As a result of this, many states including Pennsylvania discontinued stocking the palomino in favor of the brighter colored golden rainbow. There is little evidence that the palomino trout is being stocked anymore but the name confusion exists. There seems to be no genetic evidence the the blue trout is anything but a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Image credit: fishingsun.com article

Blue Trout - There is much less written information on the blue trout than either the golden rainbow or the palomino. There are numerous citations in the scientific literature and several mentions of them being stocked around the US. Several articles seem to indicate that the blue trout originated in France. There seems to be no genetic evidence the the blue trout is anything but a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

The Elusive Blue Trout of Pennsylvania article by Joe Cermele in April 2, 2014 issue of Field & Stream.

A Blue Variant in the Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum article in Journal of Heredity.

Image credit: fishingsun.com article