August 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm #6535
Hey guys, I have been wondering for a long while about hybrid fish, and I keep forgetting to ask, so I will ask now.
I don’t know much about hybrid fish except that they exist because man decided to play God for one reason or another. The first hybrid I remember hearing about is the Tiger Musky, a cross between a pike and musky. These fish have a very simple job, and do it well. All they do is eat and get big. But they don’t spawn because they are sterile.
My question is just that. Since hybrids don’t spawn, do they still go through the motions of spawning, like making spawning beds and acting as though they will spawn? Or do they just by pass that?August 14, 2017 at 10:15 pm #6536
This is a question for a biologist, but logic tells me that sterile fish which can’t produce eggs wouldn’t attempt to spawn.
According to this article about half of the splake (a brookie/lake trout cross) stocked in Michigan are fertile. So are naturally occurring hybrids like cuttbows. But most hybrids are sterile which is why many stocking programs like them – so many times humans have tried to “improve” a fishery by stocking and things go badly. Like brookies in the West – they outcompete natives and uncontrolled reproduction soon means lots of stunted little fish.August 14, 2017 at 11:05 pm #6537
I have heard that some hybrids are fertile, but I can’t keep up on what’s what. Another question would be; why? Why hybrid fish in the first place? When they started having issues with carp in some of the lakes around here, they thought about putting in pike to help control the carp population. Ok, I understand that. But, they thought as easily pike are to catch, and hated among trout fishermen here, they thought maybe the pike wouldn’t last long enough to do any good. People would catch them and throw them on the banks to die. Then they decided about the muskellunge. They are harder to catch, so they would be around longer to maybe do better at controlling the population of other fish, and what a trophy it would be for a fisherman. Again, but. Muskies will eat anything and nothing will stop them, and with them breeding, there would be trouble if they didn’t have a competitor like the pike to control the musky population.
So, what did they do? They brought the two together and made the Tiger. A fish that’s harder to catch than a pike, but easier to catch than a muskie. A fish that will eat & eat and get dang big without any other fish to compete with it. And they won’t breed, so the Tigers won’t get out of hand.
Why not just leave well enough alone, and only stock purebreds? It seems that the big predators are in the reservoir’s where carp or suckers have over populated.
Here’s a concept, why not breed the carp and sucker together, make a hybrid that will help keep lakes clean, and won’t populate, instead of doing it the other way around so we don’t introduce species that shouldn’t exist? Except for the sucker faced carp, of course.August 15, 2017 at 7:22 am #6538
Scotty: As pointed out, not all hybrids are infertile. But one of the risks of introducing infertile fish in a natural system is that sometimes the infertile males will displace fertile males in the spawning redds, resulting in unfertilized eggs, eliminating the potential production of the female for that year. This happens mostly within the same species, and is possibly because the infertile males are often larger, not having spent energy on internal reproductive processes. We’ve seen this here, where infertile aquaculture salmon have escaped from sea cages and displaced searun male salmon in the rivers.
But perhaps the more scary aspect of this discussion is this business of introducing new species to systems, particularly to help control other species, some of which we may also have inadvertently introduced. I cannot think of a single example across the globe where this has worked out in the long run in natural systems. Farm ponds, etc. are another matter. Man is so arrogant as to think that he can understand and manipulate all of the complex interactions among species and also their habitats. Generally, we accidentally introduce something to the environment or disrupt the natural balance of things so that some particular organism gets ‘out of control’ (this generally means that it affects OUR wellbeing by impacting, say, a fish that we like to fish for). So then we bring in something to control that organism, and often, once it wipes out our ‘problem’ organism, it moves on to predate on something else that we actually value. (think of an island that becomes overpopulated with rats introduced by ships arriving. Then we bring in cats to control the rats. Once the rat population begins to decline, the cats learn to prey upon ground-nesting birds and rabbits that have never faced a predator like a cat, and so have no defences. Yeah, that’s a REAL example).
I guess the short answer is this: introducing a new organism (regardless of its genetics) to a natural system is highly unlikely to have only the desired/intended effect. In most cases, where fish like tigers and splake and such are introduced, it is to create or enhance a recreational fishery for social or economic reasons. Any ecological validation for the action is generally bull____. (an exception would be when broodstock from a specific watercourse is collected and the eggs are raised to a releaseable size, then reintroduced to THAT watercourse as a means of enhancing the sustainability of the native population).
brentAugust 15, 2017 at 8:47 am #6539
Thanks Brent. I would not have thought about the social & economical side of it.
Still doesn’t sound right.
But I guess I’m asking this question is because lets take a brown & brookie. They both spawn in the fall, so the hybrid that comes from them, if its fertile, would it spawn in the fall too? And if not, would it go through the acts of making a spawning bed and such.
Better yet, the pike spawns in the spring, right after ice off. So in the spring you will find them in the shallows during predawn. Would a Tiger Musky act the same way.
Do Splake, Tiger Trout, and others act the same way as their natural species did?
In not asking about the why man does this to fish. I’m more interested in hybrid fish during what would be spawning time. Will I find a sterile hybrid in the same areas where their relatives would be during spawning time? And I ask this because even though the rainbow and brown trout are not native in CO., I release them when I catch them. But Splake or tiger trout, I would not feel guilty keeping man made fish. So to catch man made fish, I need somewhere to start. And I figure predawn time, if they go through the motions of spawning would give me that start. Then I can go from there.
If I’m not making sense, I will understand.
August 15, 2017 at 10:26 am #6541
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Scotty MacFly.
Do you keep all the cutbows? No reason to as they’re fertile and can’t contribute to the mix. I’d feel better about keeping all the slimy rainbows.
Ever notice when you catch a brown or cutthroat that your hands don’t stink from handling them. Catch a rainbow and your hands stink for days. I can’t even wash it off.
I know in the UK they hate the rainbows. They just want to catch browns.
August 15, 2017 at 11:43 am #6543
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Creek.
Ah. Brown and brookie crosses! Well, they have different numbers of chromosomes and are from different genus, and to my knowledge, they are ALWAYS sterile. They DO rarely occur in nature, spawning at the same time of year, but the hatchery-generated tigers are much more likely to survive than wild fish. So here’s the thing: if you find these ‘tigers’, they have almost certainly been stocked. And any time a DNR stocks sterile fish, it is a put and take fishery. There’s no other reason to stock them except perhaps to prey on other ‘less desirable’ species. So they put them there with the full expectation of you keeping the fish. That’s your rationale, right there. Stocked, sterile fish? Keep it.
Here’s the paradox: Generally, unless the DNR is trying to re-establish or enhance a native population, the stocking programs are for put and take fisheries. In many places, the law is that you can ONLY keep provably stocked fish (all wild fish must be released). But if you are KEEPING fish, presumably it is to eat. Unless that stocked fish has been feeding in the wild for quite some time, it tastes like hatchery food. So the only fish you can keep to eat are fish you probably don’t want to eat.
brentAugust 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm #6544
Bad tasting fish that have been raised in a hatchery. I can’t win.
First I would need to know what hybrids are fertile & sterile. Everything you just mentioned Brent is right on with the way they do things and the why’s as well I guess.
I haven’t been able to sit and really think about it yet.
You made a lot of sense Brent.
No creek, cutbows I let go. The only fish I keep have been brookies. But on my birthday I will keep 2 browns. Other than that, everything gets put back.
Creek, I have always been curious why the rainbow is hated in GB. I never can find anything on the subject.
Do you know?
I guess I just want to bring home more fish, and different fish, because I’m kind of burnt out on brookies. I don’t like rainbows, so they go back. I respect the browns & would like to keep something else on my b-day. So as far as I know, that leaves me with splake or tiger trout and any others I can think of. I don’t care for cutbows either; they taste like rainbows, and to me rainbows are bland.
Its funny you mentioned the smell creek. When I catch rainbows my wife complains about my fish smelling hands. But when I catch browns, she never says a word. I can’t smell a lot of things because my dad broke my nose when I was 1 because of being in a drunken rage. So I never know if I stink or not. But my wife has a nose like a blood hound.August 15, 2017 at 3:13 pm #6545
No idea why they don’t like rainbows in the UK. All I can think of is the browns are the native trout and that’s all they want. Kind of like I feel about cutthroats. If all I ever caught for the rest of my life were cuts i’d be a happy camper. As it is I hardly ever catch one unless I go to one of the high lakes that have them exclusively.
Yes, rainbows are called slimers for good reason. Slimy and stinky. I only tried brown trout once and I didn’t like the taste. You might. However, if you can’t smell you shouldn’t be able to taste either. Does everything taste bland to you?August 15, 2017 at 4:37 pm #6546
No not everything. I do have some sense of smell left. But you have to put it in front of my face. Like aftershave or purfume, you have to put it right under my nose.
Skunk don’t bother me unless I get sprayed. But smelling one nearby, nope, I can’t smell it.
Can’t smell farts either.
I can’t smell food cooking.
But taste is kind of the same. What I can do is tell the difference in Jiff peanut butter vs. other brands. I eat Jiff, so I am familiar with it. And it does taste more like peanuts.
But if you were to make a sauce of some kind and asked me to tell you the ingredients by tasting it, I can’t do that. Cayenne pepper is easy. Paprika, oregano, things like that I can not tell.
To me, brown trout and brookies and lake trout are kind of sweet tasting in the meat. Rainbows and salmon have no taste. Except for sockeye. That does taste different, but I can’t describe it. I just like it.
I do like walleye & halibut. Though if you were to cook me a fish I like and ask me to tell you what fish it is, I can’t. All I can say is I like it.
My dad messed me up. Nothing I can do about it but deal with it and do the best I can.August 16, 2017 at 6:28 am #6547
Scotty: you’re not alone. I used to fish with a fellow (recently deceased) who not only completely lost his sense of smell, but also his hearing. (but not his sense of humour – he often complained that, due to his afflictions, he could no longer appreciate a fart on any level).
brentAugust 16, 2017 at 9:49 am #6550
I’d like to find a girlfriend who couldn’t smell farts. Then i’d be free to blast away.August 16, 2017 at 1:23 pm #6555
You guys make my day. 😀
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