SEA-RUN TROUT, SHAD, WILD TIGER TROUT AND HERRING PROGRAM
WILD TIGER TROUT
By Bob Gregorski
|Stocked Tiger Trout that was reproduced in a
||Tiger Trout that was reproduced in the wild
Photos are by Bob Jacobs a DEP Fishery Biologist
Are wild tiger trout being produced in Naugatuck River system
is the question that came to mind after reading a recent Email
from Steve Arkenbout. Arkenbout was one of the writers on our
staff at The Connecticut Fishermans Review magazine 1993-1995.
The idea piqued my mind and prompted me to do some research about
Tiger Trout in Connecticut.
The following is the essence of Arkenbouts Email. I
have been busy fishing for wild trout. I just recently fished
a small feeder to the Naugatuck River and caught two tiger trout.
I know the state has been stocking tiger trout in the Naugatuck.
This stream is not stocked so I would assume they migrated into
the brook. But what is more interesting is the two I caught were
both around 5 inches. The state says they stock 9-12 inchers.
Perhaps it stocked smaller ones. I have caught one tiger trout
in the past that I know was wild with brilliant colors. Just the
fact that I caught two tells me they are more likely stocked.
Was wondering if you have any insight as to whether any streams
have been stocked with tiger trout.
I in turn emailed Ed Machowski, a DEP Fisheries Biologist to
get information from the Fisheries Division. The essence of Machowskis
reply was that it is possible that those are wild fish. While
not common, we do find tigers on occasion in streams where browns
and brookies exist. What is interesting is not every stream
with good brown and brook abundance produce tigers. An example
of a stream with a large number of tiger trout is Weewaka Brook
(tributary to Lake Lillinonah). Many, many years back I caught
naturally spawned tigers in Sandy Brook, noted Machowski.
I searched my library and found other two sources of reliable
information. Heres some of what John Holt said in his book
ALL ABOUT TROUT. Tiger trout are a hybrid produced mostly from
the eggs of a female (hen) brown trout being fertilized by the
milt from of a male (cockish) brook trout. The cross has
the brookies vermiculations (worm-like markings on its sides)
and the browns coloring, stated Holt.
Holt went on to say, This cross has extremely aggressive
disposition, but unfortunately only about one-third of the young
are able to develop fully because of a disease inherent in the
sac-fry. This cross rarely occurs in nature and is unable to naturally
reproduce because it is a salmonid mule (sterile adult). My second
reference book Trout Biology by Bill Willers confirmed that most
tiger trout are produced by a female brown and a male brookie,
however, Willers said when brook trout eggs are fertilized by
milt from male brown the result is sometimes called tiger trout
(less frequently leopard trout). These fish can be quite different
in shape and pattern of vermiculation. There is no explanation
why this occurs. In one controlled study, when 100,000 female
brown eyed-eggs were incubated (fertilized by brook trout milt),
65,000 hatched and 4,000 reached fry stage. Thats a 4% survival
rate. When 4,467 eggs from a brook trout were fertilized by milt
from a brown trout, 128 hatched and 22 survived to fry stage.
Thats a 0.5% survival rate. One can conclude that survival
of tiger trout when brown trout eggs are fertilized is more likely
to happen. Later I corresponded with Bill Hyatt, Director on CT
Inland Fisheries and several of the Divisions biologists
and received the following information. The Connecticut DEP stocks
only a small number of tiger in its annual trout stocking program.
Heres a sample of what the DEP Fisheries Division stocked
prior to Opening Day 2008. Brook Trout - 62,500 (10-11 inch);
Brown Trout 214,300 (10-11 inch), Brown Trout 7,900
(12 inch), Tiger Trout 8,000 (10-12 inch brook/brown hybrid),
Rainbow Trout 89,000 (10-12 inch), Rainbow Trout 18,650
(12-14 inch) and 1,680 surplus broodstock (3-10 pounds). Note:
After Opening Day about 5,000 tiger trout (10-12 inch) were stocked.
So, about 13,000 of the total 800,000 trout stocked annually in
the state were tiger trout. Or approximately 1.7 % of the total
was tiger trout. The state stocks tiger trout to add to the diversity
of trout species. Recall the some years ago golden trout were
stocked. They were easy to spot in the water, but difficult to
catch. Tigers are aggressive. Anglers enjoy the fight they display.
One additional type tiger trout stocking involves the Sea-run
Trout Program. DEP Fisheries Division is trying to establish sea-run
trout fisheries in waters that are potentially favorable. In 2008,
the following yearling tiger trout were stocked in the lower sections
of: Salmon River (500), Saugatuck River (396), Naugatuck River
(396), Niantic River (396), Thames River (500) and Latimer Brook
(396). The following are listed in the 2008 Connecticut Anglers
Guide as sea-run trout fisheries. Read the Guide for specific
areas of river. They include:Eightmile River (East Haddam Lyme),
Farm River, Hammonasset River, Latimer Brook, Mianus River, Oil
Mill Brook, Saugatuck River and Whitford Brook.
Thanks to DEP Fisheries Supervisor Bill Hyatt and biologists
Bob Orciari, Ed Machowski, Bill Foreman, Bob Jaciobs and Tim Wildman.
SHAD & HERRING STOCKING 2007 & 2008
By Bob Gregorski
The following fish were stocked by the DEP Fisheries Division
this spring: 162 adult American shad and 500 alewife. This has
been on on-going program for many years. The goal is to have these
anadromous fish species reproduce in the river. Their offspring
return to the ocean and return in a few years as adults to reproduce.
No sea lamprey were stocked in 2008
In 2007, there were 118 pre-spawn adult American shad from the
Holyoke Fish lift stocked into the Naugatuck River in early June.
No lamprey were stocked in the Naugatuck River. In 2006, there
were 549 Alewife and 72 American shad stocked. In 2005, the Naugatuck
River was stocked with 399 alewives. No shad were stocked.
Sea-run trout, American shad and alewives stocked in the Naugatuck
River in 2006 on 4/11/06, 250 adipose fin clipped seeforellen
strain brown trout yearlings were stocked; 250 unmarked tiger
trout yearlings on 4/11/06 and 549 Alewife on 5/5/06 and 72 American
shad were stocked on 6/16/06.
In 2005, the Naugatuck River was stocked with 500 seeforellen
strain brown trout yearlings and 450 tiger
trout yearlings. No shad were stocked; 399 alewives were stocked.
Anglers who have caught any of the trout (2005 - 2008) are encouraged
to contact Bob Gregorski at
firstname.lastname@example.org. with information about the catches. Steve
Gephard and Tim Wildman (DEP Marine
Biologists) are interested in the data.
Anglers are encouraged to practice Catch & Release and give
these fish a chance to grow.