Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to Identify a Wild Fish!

                                                                                Adipose                 Dorsal
Anal             Pelvic              Pectoral 
Wild Trout (all fins intact)

It's fairly easy to spot wild fish, and they are easy to tell apart from hatchery fish if you look for some obvious indicators. Like Steelhead, wild trout will have an adipose fin that is intact and easy to spot behind their dorsal fin. The adipose fin of hatchery fish is cut more often than other fins. However, many hatchery fish are not clipped because of the sheer numbers of fish that have to be handled. 

Another more subtle way to tell the difference between wild and hatchery fish can be seen in the fins of wild fish. The dorsal, pectoral and anal fins of wild fish may be larger and have white leading edges, as shown in the wild trout picture above.

Hatchery Steelhead
(adipose and dorsal fins are missing)
A telltale sign of a hatchery fish is that the dorsal fin will usually be deformed in some way because of their crowded conditions in the hatcheries. 

A more subtle way to differentiate between wild and hatchery fish is in their fighting qualities. A wild fish will normally fight harder, longer and usually revive more quickly. Simply put, compared to hatchery fish, wild fish come from a more healthy and hearty gene pool. 

Release wild fish. It's the right thing to do. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please read our terms of use policy