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KevinH 11-28-2000 04:49 AM

Tiger Trout
Good morning fellow anglers. I'm a new participant with this forum, and have been reading about your possible encounters with Tiger Trout.

This past season, one of my guides caught and photographed a Tiger here in the West Branch of the Ausable. If I can figure out how to include a picture with this message, I'll do so. Otherwise, if you'd like me to e-mail a photo to you so you can more positively identify one, just send an e-mail request.

isoh 11-28-2000 06:56 AM

RE:Tiger Trout

Welcome! If the photo you have is already available on a web server, you can include it in a post here by using a special tag:


For a complete reference click the icon at the top of this page

If it is not on a web server (not available via an "http://" address), I'd be happy to store and post your photo for you. You can send as an attachment to <a href="">adeluca@mediaon</a><!--email-->


Lefty 11-28-2000 07:42 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
I have to admit this trout identification thing is so confusing. Out at Wachusset I was with Juro and pointed to a Smallmouth and said "Ooo Laker" BzzzzzT WRONG! Anyway here's a cool website: Take the trout test!

<a href="" target="_blank"><!--auto--></a><!--auto-->


FWIW I crossed 2, the Brown and Cut. Surprised myself.

isoh 11-28-2000 07:56 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Terry!!! You da man. Mystery solved. It was a bull. The only thing that still has me slightly skeptical is the placement of the eye. In the photo they show, the eye is well forward of the maxilla. From what I remember, my fish had the eye behind, but everything else is pretty much as I remember it. Their spots are a bit yellow for a bull, but this could be a regional discrepancy or something simple like differeing monitor hardware.

Powers 11-28-2000 08:18 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Uh, Al? The Bull is one of them western trout (used to be considered a strain of Dolly Varden). I don't know what's in Spectacle (or, actually, where it is), but have you considered Lake Trout?

That would give you a forked tail, teeth, and spots lighter than the background (i.e. char).

isoh 11-28-2000 08:22 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Mike - I know, it confounds me too. All I can think is that there was a fisheries manager out there with a sense of humor?? Bull and brookies are close enough to mate with sterile offspring. Could be an experiment.

I'm not going to rule out a lake trout since I haven't caught one since I was a kid.

Lefty 11-28-2000 09:19 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Tiger trout images are scarce on the web. Here's the only one I could find so far.


juro 11-28-2000 09:30 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Bull trout are an increasingly rare char native to the pacific northwest and the hotbed of controversy in terms of ESA and habitat protection. I am not aware of artificial stocking of the bull trout on this side of the divide but I guess anything is possible.

My guess is that it was a tiger or brookie, since their coloration varies so profoundly. I've caught tigers that looked lavender all over and others that were slate grey like a laker. I've caught brookies that were almost silver throughout (albeit searun) while others were neon reds, blues and olives. Trout in general display a spectrum of color schemes even within strains depending on a large number of factors including spawning, diet, and environment.



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one brookie...
<img src="[/img]

All photos courtesy Luis Nasim and Eugene Hoyano, All rights reserved</font><!--1--></center>

juro 11-28-2000 09:42 AM

RE:Tiger Trout

WELCOME KEVIN! I look forward to tales from the Ausable... and hope to exchange visits soon! I've never fished the legendary river and would love to fulfill that dream trip.



Lefty 11-28-2000 09:43 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Here's a press release (couple years old) but may give an idea as to where the state of Mass. is putting these Tigers.

Released March 18, 1998


This year spring trout stocking will include Tiger Trout -- 300 of them averaging 15 inches long. According to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife tigers are hybrid trout produced by fertilizing female brown trout eggs with sperm from male brook trout. The name "tiger trout" stems from the appearance of the adult fish which have beautiful tiger-like stripes on their backs. The tiger trout being stocked this year were raised at the state fish hatchery in Sandwich.

Releases of tiger trout are scheduled for:

Western District
Westfield River (Huntington/Russell)

Connecticut Valley District
LakeMattawa (Orange)
Lake Metacomet (Belchertown)
Westfield River (Westfield)

Central District
Comet Pond (Hubbardston)
Browning Pond (Spencer)
Fort Pond (Lancaster)
South Pond (Brookfield)
Lake Quinsigamond (Worcester)
Webster Lake (Webster)
Whalom Lake (Lunenburg)

Northeast District
Squannacook River (Townsend, Groton, Shirley)
Nissitisset River (Pepperell)
Hopkinton Reservoir (Hopkinton)
Walden Pond (Concord)
Lake Cochituate (Middle- Natick; North - Wayland, Framingham)

Southeast District
Cliff Pond (Brewster)
Crystal Lake (Orleans)
Flax Pond (Brewster)
Goose Pond (Chatham)
Grews Pond (Falmouth)
Hathaway Pond (Barnstable)
Little Pond (Plymouth)
Long Pond (Plymouth)
Lout Pond ( Plymouth)
Marys Pond (Rochester)
Peters Pond (Sandwich)
Scargo Lake (Dennis)
Sheep Pond (Brewster)

For stocking information call 1-800-ask-fish For additional information call Dr. Ken Simmons @

isoh 11-28-2000 11:42 AM

RE:Tiger Trout
Well, all I can say for certain at this point is that it was NOT a tiger. Well, actually I'm not certain of anything. Juro makes a good point. The tiger has the right profile. The spots were distinct like a brown with halo and all.

Anyway, here's a laker:

The bull pictured above is still the closest thing I've seen to date. On the other hand, I've seen some other pics of bulls that looked nothing like what I saw.

trutta 11-28-2000 01:13 PM

RE:Tiger Trout
Here's a photo of a tiger trout from Hans Weilenmann's web page.

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trutta 11-28-2000 01:15 PM

RE:Tiger Trout
Sorry about the size of the other photo. Here's the real thing.

<a href="" target="_blank"><!--auto--></a><!--auto-->

trutta 11-28-2000 01:19 PM

RE:Tiger Trout
Hi Kevin:
You mention the West Branch of the Ausable. That can only be the one in NY State. I have regularly fished that river for over 20 years now. Where are you located and what's the name of your guiding service?

Powers 11-28-2000 01:29 PM

RE:Tiger Trout
Awright, back to basics: did the critter have spots lighter than the background, or darker?

Light spots on dark background = char.
Dark spots on light background = trout.

Now, light and dark can vary, as can coloration due to any number of factors cited above. Brookies and browns will both have red spots, but different kinds and brookies' have a blue halo. But brookies, browns and their hybrid tigers have square tails and we have a report of a distinctly forked tail. The bull trout hypothesis is rejected for being outlandish (fisheries managers these days are more sensitive than they used to be to the ecological appropriateness of species to regions; I can't believe anyone would have stocked one in a Cape Cod kettlehole on a whim).

So, with a forked tail and any plausibility of being here you've got two choices: landlocked salmon (trout*) or lake trout (char). So it all comes down to the spots.

[*not really a trout, of course, but meets the "dark spots" criterion]

Now, my guess is that you've played with this fish in your mind too many times and can no longer tell whether it was dimpled or pregnant or dangling, but if you can answer the spots question I believe you've answered the ID question.

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