Tiger trout

Last updated
Tiger trout
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Subfamily: Salmoninae
Hybrid: Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis

The tiger trout (Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis) is a sterile, intergeneric hybrid of the brown trout (Salmo trutta) and the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Pronounced vermiculations in the fish's patterning gave rise to its name, evoking the stripes of a tiger. Tiger trout are a rare anomaly in the wild, as the parent species are relatively unrelated, being members of different genera and possessing mismatched numbers of chromosomes. [1] [2] [3] However, specialized hatchery rearing techniques are able to produce tiger trout reliably enough to meet the demands of stocking programs. [4] [5]


Natural occurrence

Prior to the 19th century, naturally occurring tiger trout were an impossibility, as the native range of brown trout in Eurasia and brook trout in North America do not overlap and the species could therefore never have encountered one another in the wild. [3] When the widespread stocking of non-native gamefish began in the 1800s, brown trout and brook trout began establishing wild populations alongside each other in some places and the opportunity for hybridization in the wild arose. [6] Instances of stream-born tiger trout were recorded in the United States at least as early as 1944 and, despite being exceptionally rare, they've been documented numerous times since during the 20th and 21st centuries. [3]

Tiger trout result exclusively from the fertilization of brown trout eggs with brook trout milt, as brook trout eggs are generally too small to be successfully fertilized by brown trout milt. [1] Tigers are known as intergeneric hybrids as the two parent species share only a relatively distant relationship, belonging to different genera within the Salmon family. In fact, brook trout and brown trout have non-matching numbers of chromosomes, with the former possessing 84 and the latter 80. [7] Consequently, even in cases in which brown trout eggs are fertilized by brook trout in the wild, most of these eggs develop improperly and fail to yield any young. [1]

Hatchery rearing

Tiger trout can be produced reliably in hatcheries and they've been incorporated into stocking programs in the United States at least as early as the 1960s. [8] Hatchery productivity is enhanced by heat shocking the fertilized hybrid eggs, causing the creation of an extra set of chromosomes which increases survival rates from 5% to 85%. [9] Tiger trout have been reported to grow faster than natural species, [10] though this assessment is not universal. [11] They are also known to be highly piscivorous and are consequently a useful control against rough fish populations. [7] This, along with their desirability as novel gamefish, means tigers have continued to be popular with many fish stocking programs. US states with tiger trout stocking programs include Arizona, [2] Arkansas, [12] Colorado, [13] Connecticut, [14] Idaho, [15] Washington, [16] West Virginia, [17] Wyoming, [4] Utah, Virginia, [18] Oregon, [19] and Massachusetts. [20]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trout</span> Freshwater fish from subfamily Salmoninae

Trout is a generic common name for numerous species of carnivorous freshwater ray-finned fishes belonging to the genera Oncorhynchus, Salmo and Salvelinus, all of which are members of the subfamily Salmoninae in the family Salmonidae. The word trout is also used for some similar-shaped but non-salmonid fish, such as the spotted seatrout/speckled trout.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lake trout</span> Species of fish in northern North America

The lake trout is a freshwater char living mainly in lakes in northern North America. Other names for it include mackinaw, namaycush,lake char (or charr), touladi, togue, and grey trout. In Lake Superior, it can also be variously known as siscowet, paperbelly and lean. The lake trout is prized both as a game fish and as a food fish. Those caught with dark coloration may be called mud hens.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brown trout</span> Species of fish

The brown trout is a species of salmonid ray-finned fish and the most widely distributed species of the genus Salmo, endemic to most of Europe, West Asia and parts of North Africa, and has been widely introduced globally as a game fish, even becoming one of the world's worst invasive species outside of its native range.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bull trout</span> Species of fish

The bull trout is a char of the family Salmonidae native to northwestern North America. Historically, S. confluentus has been known as the "Dolly Varden", but was reclassified as a separate species in 1980. Populations of bull trout in the lower 48 states are listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and bull trout overall are listed as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Saskatchewan-Nelson Rivers population in Alberta, Canada is listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rainbow trout</span> Fresh-water species of fish

The rainbow trout is a species of trout native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is an anadromous (sea-run) form of the coastal rainbow trout(O. m. irideus) or Columbia River redband trout (O. m. gairdneri) that usually returns to freshwater to spawn after living two to three years in the ocean. Freshwater forms that have been introduced into the Great Lakes and migrate into tributaries to spawn are also called steelhead.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brook trout</span> Species of fish

The brook trout is a species of freshwater fish in the char genus Salvelinus of the salmon family Salmonidae. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada, but has been introduced elsewhere in North America, as well as to Iceland, Europe, and Asia. In parts of its range, it is also known as the eastern brook trout, speckled trout, brook charr, squaretail, brookie or mud trout, among others. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior, is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. Anadromous populations which are found in coastal rivers from Long Island to Hudson Bay are sometimes referred to as salters. The brook trout is the state fish of nine U.S. states: Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the Provincial Fish of Nova Scotia in Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cutthroat trout</span> Species of fish

The cutthroat trout(Oncorhynchus clarkii) is a fish species of the family Salmonidae native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean, Rocky Mountains, and Great Basin in North America. As a member of the genus Oncorhynchus, it is one of the Pacific trout, a group that includes the widely distributed rainbow trout. Cutthroat trout are popular gamefish, especially among anglers who enjoy fly fishing. The common name "cutthroat" refers to the distinctive red coloration on the underside of the lower jaw. The specific name clarkii was given to honor explorer William Clark, coleader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arctic char</span> Species of fish

The Arctic char or Arctic charr is a cold-water fish in the family Salmonidae, native to alpine lakes, as well as Arctic and subarctic coastal waters in the Holarctic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sea trout</span> Form of brown trout

Sea trout is the common name usually applied to anadromous (sea-run) forms of brown trout, and is often referred to as Salmo trutta morpha trutta. Other names for anadromous brown trout are bull trout, sewin (Wales), peel or peal, mort, finnock (Scotland), white trout (Ireland), Dollaghan and salmon trout (culinary).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Silver trout</span> Extinct species of fish

The silver trout is an extinct char species or subspecies that inhabited a few waters in New Hampshire in the United States prior to 1939, when a biological survey conducted on the Connecticut watershed by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department found none.

<i>Salvelinus</i> Genus of fishes

Salvelinus is a genus of salmonid fish often called char or charr; some species are called "trout". Salvelinus is a member of the subfamily Salmoninae within the family Salmonidae. The genus has a northern circumpolar distribution, and most of its members are typically cold-water fish that primarily inhabit fresh waters. Many species also migrate to the sea.

<i>Salmo trutta fario</i> Subspecies of Salmo trout

Salmo trutta fario, sometimes called the river trout, is a river-dwelling freshwater predatory fish from the genus Salmo of the family Salmonidae. It is one of the three main subspecies or morphs of the brown trout, besides sea trout and the lacustrine trout.

The aurora trout, Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis, is a variant or subspecies of the brook trout native to two lakes in the Temagami District of Ontario, Canada. The existence of the fish was brought to the attention of the angling world by four American anglers who were taken by Archie King of Latchford, Ontario, into Ontario's Lady Evelyn River system in 1923. Recognizing the fish as different or unique, the anglers took a specimen back to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, in the United States, where Dr. Arthur W. Henn was asked to identify the fish. He wrote about the fish in 1925 wherein he and Rinckenbach identified it as a distinct species, Salvelinus timagamiensis, but since a seminal re-examination of the material by Sale in 1967, taxonomists now agree the fish is, in a fact, at most a subspecies of the brook trout, named Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis. Genetic data has not yet supported its taxonomic distinction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Splake</span> Species of fish

The splake or slake is a hybrid of two fish species resulting from the crossing of a male brook trout and a female lake trout. The name itself is a portmanteau of speckled trout and lake trout, and may have been used to describe such hybrids as early as the 1880s. Hybrids of the male lake trout with the female brook trout have also been produced, but are not as successful.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) is an agency of the government of the U.S. state of West Virginia. While formerly known as the cabinet-level Department of Natural Resources, it is now part of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. The WVDNR is responsible for wildlife management, hunting and fishing regulations, and boater safety and also oversees state parks and resorts. It also operates the West Virginia State Wildlife Center, a zoo in French Creek that exhibits West Virginian wildlife.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Allegheny National Fish Hatchery</span>

The Allegheny National Fish Hatchery was established by Congress in 1959 to produce rainbow, brook, and brown trout for northwestern Pennsylvania streams. Construction began in the late 1960s. Fish production began on site in 1974.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spooner Lake</span> Reservoir in Nevada, United States

Spooner Lake is a man-made reservoir located just north of the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 28 near Spooner Summit, a pass in the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada leading to Carson City, Nevada from Lake Tahoe. It is located in Lake Tahoe – Nevada State Park.


  1. 1 2 3 "Tiger trout — myth or fact?/Biological bits". The Daily Mining Gazette. The Mining Gazette. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  2. 1 2 "Tiger Trout". Arizona Game and Fish Department. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  3. 1 2 3 "Tiger Trout (Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis) - Species Profile". NAS - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  4. 1 2 "Making tiger trout". Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  5. Altman, Jim (24 March 2022). "Trout Season goes year-round and DEEP is stocking up". FOX 61. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  6. Pister, Edwin P. (June 2001). "Wilderness Fish Stocking: History and Perspective". Ecosystems. 4 (4): 279–286. Bibcode:2001Ecosy...4..279P. doi:10.1007/s10021-001-0010-7. JSTOR   3658925. S2CID   21528271 . Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  7. 1 2 Windham, Rick (27 September 2018). "What is a tiger trout?". AP NEWS. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  8. "Tiger trout are stocked". The Daily Record (Long Branch, New Jersey). April 26, 1963.
  9. Thousands of tigers released in Utah (trout that is!) Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, 24 May 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2006
  10. Watch out, Utah chubs: Tiger trout placed in Scofield Reservoir Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, 24 May 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2006
  11. Tiger Trout & Hybrids Archived 2006-08-28 at the Wayback Machine Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Retrieved 11 September 2006
  12. "State seeks big fish tales for tiger trout record". Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. 19 April 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  13. "Great reservoir fishing abounds in southwest Colorado". CO,US. Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  14. "Fish Stocking Report 2021" (PDF). CT.GOV. Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  15. "New state record tiger trout set in southeast | Idaho Fish and Game". idfg.idaho.gov. Idaho Fish and Game. 30 May 2023. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  16. "Tiger trout". wdfw.wa.gov. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  17. "WVDNR stocking trophy tiger trout in April and May". WVDNR.GOV. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  18. "Tiger Trout in Virginia". dwr.virginia.gov. Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  19. "Diamond Lake: Inaugural stocking of tiger trout". Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  20. "MassWildlife Trout Stocking Program". www.mass.gov. Retrieved 11 July 2022.