What do you get when you cross a brown trout with a female brook trout? Well, experts that produced the artificial hybrid (because it very rarely happens in nature) found that you get what has been aptly named the tiger trout.
The trout have dark stripes over a brownish body, which led to their moniker. They are typically between 10 and 16 inches in length and can weigh up to 5 pounds.The record for the largest tiger trout is currently 15 pounds.
The species name is Salmo trutta x Salvelinus fontinalis, a nod to both its parents. The brown trout originated from Europe and western Asia. The brook trout was originally found in the eastern U.S. and Canada. The tiger trout itself is sterile so lakes have to be restocked with the hybrid species as it very seldom occurs naturally.
How to Catch Them
Catching tiger trout seems to be a good sport for fishermen. Because the tiger trout like to eat smaller fish, using a lure that replicates the movement of a small fish or using real small fish (like dead minnows) as bait is suggested.
Tiger trout can also be caught all year; no off season for them, although spring and fall are the best seasons to catch them. Catching a wild trout, of course, is extremely rare so it is a real coup for enthusiasts when it happens.
Benefits of Tiger Trout
Like any hybrid species, breeding tiger trout does have some advantages. Those benefits include:
● Resistance to certain types of disease that are threatening other species. Tiger trout, for example, are supposed to be resistant to whirling disease, where a parasite causes damage to the head and spine of the fish, causing a whirling motion. The erratic swimming of the fish is detrimental to its survival because the fish then has trouble feeding and avoiding predators.
● Some hybrids grow faster and bigger than their parent species, though this is not the case for tiger trout. In fact, some tiger trout may not fare as well in the early growth stages as their natural parents.
● Most hybrids are sterile, which can be seen as a benefit because it allows their populations to be controlled.
● Regarding tiger trout, the fish have been known to eat other fish and help reduce overpopulation in waters where they are introduced.
The tiger trout is a hybrid species that fascinates and is the source of great entertainment for those interested in catching them.