Tiger Trout Facts, Scientific Name and Other Details
Tiger Trout are hybridized freshwater food and game fish occurring between different genera – the Salmo trutta, or the female German Brown Trout by the Salvelinus fontinalis, or Eastern Brook Trout. This inter-species cross is rather unusual, as are the markings and aggressive character of the aptly named Tiger Trout. They appear to have what are termed vermiculated tiger stripes, or an ornamentation of wavy lines and markings reminiscent of the tracks of a worm. Except for an orange-yellow belly, the rest of the fish is marked by a darker English-garden maze pattern running over its brown-grey body. The lower pectoral fin, along with the pelvic and anal fins is the same orange-yellow color. The square dorsal fin displays the same maze pattern and coloration.
To most fishermen, little is known about this hybrid trout except that they are powerful fighters, energetically surfacing to feed striking fast and frequently. They have been found to range from 6 to 20 inches in some cases, and weighing as much as three pounds. Tiger Trout are not native to any state or country. They are a sterile hybrid, quite like the Triploid Rainbow Trout. They’ve been reported to grow more rapidly than natural species and, while not universally assessed, it makes sense since their time and energy is spent eating and growing. Nutrients that would otherwise feed reproductive systems are siphoned directly into growth, comparing to other sterile fish that show similar growth rates known as hybrid vigor.
Do You want to also learn about brook trout? Click Here
Tiger Trout are known to be highly piscivorous, feeding on invertebrates, insects, larvae, and small fish. It has been the intention of the hatcheries to allow Tiger Trout to help maintain good control over rough fish populations. Popular among many fish stocking programs and small-scale private hatcheries, Tiger Trout have been produced for stocking in various club waters, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Columbia Basin waters, the Great Lakes, Utah lakes in the Boulder Mountain area, Fish Lake near Cheney, Wa., and much more. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raised concerns about possible impacts on endangered fish.
There are naturally occurring tiger trout in the wild, typically where a higher ratio of brown to brook trout share spawning grounds. It is true they do not appear often, but they are becoming a common find in the Midwest and New England. After the stocking program had been discontinued in Wisconsin in the late 1970’s, a world record catch recorded a 20-pounder in the Great Lakes. There was also the report of a tiger trout naturally occurring in the Gallatin River of Montana.
Tiger trout are present in many states and countries including:
• New Jersey
• West Virginia
• South Dakota
• New Zealand
The tiger trout’s popularity with fish stocking companies comes from the fact that they are sterile and therefore do not present the risk of over-running existing fish populations while effectively keeping them in check. Their popularity among anglers remains high as they have turned out to be an excellent game fish due to better catchability. They have been described as mean, scrappy fish, having “spunk,” and fighting like a freight train.
An Inland Fisheries Service Recreational Angling license must be obtained to take tiger trout. Hundreds of retail businesses, such as fishing stores and most trout guides are valid licensing agents, as well as the IFS head office can sell licenses. These are also great sources for specific fishing regulations.