Rainbow trout vs cutthroat trout who wins?

brandon4455

brandon4455

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okay, so to start tis out a few years back for biology i did a powerpoint on cutthroat trout in my local creek. i did a lot of research relating to eating habits,preffered water and spawning habits after reading into spawning habits it said that cutthroat trout are becoming more rare and hard to find in steady poulations, not only due to some invasive species but actually other trout, the rainbow trout is more dominate and succesful with spawning and they out spawn native cutthroat or they even cross breed with them and phase them out and pretty much take over and it does not take much time . as i soon found out there were rainbow trout in my home creek and lake i started to get a bit worried, over the past two years i have caught more and more rainbows and less cutthroat.. has anybody else experienced this happen like i have? and what are you thoughts on it and why do you think it happens? the only thing i could think of is some of the wild winter steelhead smolts (upper willamatte fish) stayed instead of going to sea and starting breeding in freshwater. thanks for your opinions and comments it would be nice to get an idea of how and why this is going on and how common it is.
 
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bigsteel

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to me it depends on the river your fishing,,a small creek can only support so many fish so interbreeding is very likely..the mckenzie rainbows breed with the cutthroat and you have CUTTBOWS.if its a healthy river and eco sysytem there is no reason it can't support both,take montana for example last year they were paying people a bounty to kill the rainbows because they were taking over their cutthroat.

I wish oregon managed their trout fisheries like montana does.
 
C_Run

C_Run

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I fished two small rivers on the south coast on Friday with spinners. Only caught (and released) a few native cutthroat on both. There are no hatchery trout in either one. The fish really looked quite different between the two streams. Very pale and silvery on the one and on the other they almost looked black in comparison with very pronounced dark spots. I think there is a lot of natural variation out there and probably more interbreeding going on than what we know of when there are more that one species present. That's my guess.
 
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Mad dog

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to me it depends on the river your fishing,,a small creek can only support so many fish so interbreeding is very likely..the mckenzie rainbows breed with the cutthroat and you have CUTTBOWS.if its a healthy river and eco sysytem there is no reason it can't support both,take montana for example last year they were paying people a bounty to kill the rainbows because they were taking over their cutthroat.

I wish oregon managed their trout fisheries like montana does.

Big problems with Rainbow in parts of Yellowstone right now! In some streams they are completely overtaking Cutthroat populations!
 
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bigsteel

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Big problems with Rainbow in parts of Yellowstone right now! In some streams they are completely overtaking Cutthroat populations!

I have been following that,,i agree witht them the rainbows are dominating their cutthroat.
 
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halibuthitman

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not to mention the explosion of Mackinaw in Yellowstone lake, they are using gillnets to try to subdue the populations!
 
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bigsteel

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same thing is happening at lake billy chinook,all the smolt they have planted to try and bring a run back up the metolius are being eaten severely by the bull trout.,,so odfw genius logic is they might be having a harvest of bull trout.
 
troutdude

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Brandon, you're craving for fish knowledge never ceases to amaze me. Great project and great questions!
 
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GungasUncle

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While rainbows are generally more competitive than cutties - most of the streams I fish that have populations of both, or populations of the steelhead strain of rainbow (or the rainbow strain of steelhead?) and cutties seem to have struck a nice balance. I don't think I've caught less cutthroat in those streams over the years than I did before. The one thing I have noticed - at least on a certain stream - is that the larger fish *are* wild rainbow. This could be the first sign of a possibly alarming trend. I like catching wild cutts more than wild rainbow, usually. I think cutties are prettier fish. Rainbows of equal size tend to be more acrobatic though.

IT's also quite possible that the cutts aren't necessarily disappearing, but rather relocating to other parts of the streams. Look higher up in the system than you're finding the rainbows. There's a stream I fish in the cascades that has a lot of rainbows - below a certain set of falls, I'm pretty sure they're mostly the progeny of steelhead, and just stayed in the stream instead of going to sea. Above that set of falls, I think the rainbow are successors from hatchery planted fish - since there's no way steelies could by-pass those falls, not without a truck or helicopter or some other mechanical means :) The middle section - above those falls - has bows and cutts, and the oddball cuttbow. Higher toward the headwaters, it's almost exclusively a cutthroat game - until you start running into a few brookies well up in the system. I've never caught a rainbow in the same waters up there that the brookies and cutthroat share.
 
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Noahk

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Is there a reason they don't stock cutthroats in the local lakes and streams?
 
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GungasUncle

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Probably because rainbows have been the go-to fish to stock just about all over the country - thus they have more of them, probably making them cheaper. Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming have done a lot more cutthroat stocking than we have. They've gone so far as to try erradicating non-native rainbows from some of their water sheds and reintroducing the proper cutthroat trout for their respective regions. Would be kind of neat to find some lakes where all the trout were cutties. Cutts seem to nail dry flies a lot more readily, which is always a plus in my book.

Maybe a letter writing campaign can get ODFW to start putting cutthroat in more lakes, and less rainbows. And for the man-made lakes where the fish being stocked aren't native to the region/watershed anyway - why can't we get some more interesting fish like Browns, or Tiger trout? Would be something more fun than the hotdog rainbows that get stocked everywhere :)
 
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bigsteel

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you would end up with hot dog sized brown trout too,,i also dont think its a good idea to plant cutthroat in a lake,,leave that for pellet head fish theyre cheap and reaadily available.i personally like to see the work of mother nature produce fish.we dont need to go around and have fish planted on every body of water.they do it with steelhead and salmon and its a detriment to the wild/native population.I think if people practiced catch and release more we would have some lakes with HUGE trout in them.
 
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metalfisher76

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you would end up with hot dog sized brown trout too,,i also dont think its a good idea to plant cutthroat in a lake,,leave that for pellet head fish theyre cheap and reaadily available.i personally like to see the work of mother nature produce fish.we dont need to go around and have fish planted on every body of water.they do it with steelhead and salmon and its a detriment to the wild/native population.I think if people practiced catch and release more we would have some lakes with HUGE trout in them.

True!
 
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GungasUncle

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you would end up with hot dog sized brown trout too,,i also dont think its a good idea to plant cutthroat in a lake,,leave that for pellet head fish theyre cheap and reaadily available.i personally like to see the work of mother nature produce fish.we dont need to go around and have fish planted on every body of water.they do it with steelhead and salmon and its a detriment to the wild/native population.I think if people practiced catch and release more we would have some lakes with HUGE trout in them.


I totally get what you're saying. My point is - if we're going to plant fish - why can't we mix it up some and plant some interesting fish? ODFW is too far gone to ever have a reversal of their policy and adopt a Wild Fisheries approach whole hog. They *might* go along with it eventually on coastal streams. All the man made impoundments and ponds though, I don't think will ever be managed for C&R, or low bag limits, or slot limits on trout... People are far too used to the put & take fisheries we've got. So my thought is - if we're going to do put & take - lets mix it up. That's all.
 
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