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Report at a Glance

General RegionMilwaukee Wisconsin
Specific LocationMilwaukee River
Time of Day9:00am
Fish CaughtLake Trout or Splake

Details and Discussion

RiverAnglerOctober 13th, 2009, 7:41 pm
Milwaukee

Posts: 2
Caught this beautiful fish in the Milwaukee River a few days ago, and am not sure if its a Lake Trout, or a Splake. I was hoping maybe someone here could lend their knowledge and help identify this fish. Thanks a lot.
I can't seem to be able to upload a picture to this post, so here is a link for it. Thanks again.

TroutnutOctober 13th, 2009, 8:46 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2458
Did you keep the guts by any chance? It sure looks like a laker to me, but apparently the only 100% reliable way to tell is to check out the internal anatomy:

Because of their intermediate nature, many anglers many not realize they have caught a hybrid trout unless they know what to look for. The spots are usually pinkish, although many fish have little or no colour, and the tail is generally intermediate between the deeply forked tail of the lake trout and the square tail of the brook trout. The only positive way to tell is to open up the fish and examine the worm-like projections on the front part of the stomach. These are called pyloric caeca and function in digestion. Lake trout have 100 190 of them and brook trout have 20 50, and splake usually have 70 80. A character such as this is much more reliable than external appearance. It is important to identify your catch correctly in lakes known to contain splake because the catch limit for splake is less than it is for brook trout and you are responsible for knowing which you have.


Source: http://www.members.shaw.ca/amuir/splake.htm
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZOOctober 13th, 2009, 10:33 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Evan,

I also think that your fish looks like a fairly typical laker. If it was missing one (or more) of its ventral or pectoral fins, it's probably a safe bet. The vast majority of Lake Michigan lakers are stocked fish, and Wisconsin uses a variety of fin clips to distinguish these fish. (A right pectoral, left ventral, or combination left ventral/right pectoral are common clips for lakers.) It's not unusual to find lakers in many of the Great Lakes tributaries in the fall. As far as I know, splake are stocked almost entirely in the Green Bay area (Menominee and Peshtigo).
MartinlfOctober 14th, 2009, 8:52 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2871
OK, Gonzo, how do you just know these kinds of things? It's kinda scary! All kidding aside, with your comments and Jason's on internal organs, this certainly makes for an interesting post.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOOctober 14th, 2009, 9:57 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
You're right, Louis. Filling one's head with arcane trivia about fish and aquatic insects is a scary disease of the mind, and I suffer from a condition that is chronic and probably terminal. I appreciate everyone's concern for my mental health, but I think I need a twelve-step program (or an intervention?).
Shawnny3October 14th, 2009, 2:01 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Agreed, Louis - Gonzo's knowledge is frightening. I hope one day to know as much about all this as he's forgotten. And, yes, the thread has quickly become quite interesting. If nothing else, RiverAngler has certainly gotten a concise and thorough response. What a great forum.

And Gonzo, I'd be happy to meet up with you to begin your rehab. We should probably start by having you confess all the fish you've caught, with precise locations and flies used. Then we probably ought to go to said locations - you could make amends with the fish as I catch them. Finally, so as to prevent you from ever being tempted to practice the dark arts again, I could relieve you of the burden of your flyfishing and flytying equipment. Say, Saturday at noon, your place?

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
RiverAnglerOctober 14th, 2009, 2:33 pm
Milwaukee

Posts: 2
I believe step number nine is making amends. Seeing as you've used this forum to expose and potentially spread such a disease to countless others, I'd say you have your work cut out for ya.

Thanks a bunch for the speedy replies guys. I actually ended up releasing the fish, with his entrails intact unfortunately ;D. I'm rather new to fishing, and still haven't become entirely familiar with the various species I can catch in my local area even. I was fishing for steelies, and when I pulled this guy out, I thought I had something rare, and felt a release was most appropriate. I posted the fishing report on another forum, and was told it wasn't something all that rare after all, but instead a Lake Trout. While researching Lake Trout, I came across many pictures of Splake, which I personally thought resembled the fish I caught a bit more than the former. With only one cell phone picture, and an adrenaline fogged memory to go off of, I decided to consult the "diseased" and get a much more experienced opinion.

Just from the two responses saying at first glance it looks like a Lake Trout, I'll place my bets there. From what I've read, and what Gonzo says, Splake are indeed for the most part north of here near Green Bay, and Lake Trout are common fish around these parts this time of year.

I only started fishing earlier this year, but have fallen in love with it. I've done a ridiculous amount of it over the last few months, and must say these last few weeks fishing for trout and salmon have been the best. The salmon put up a fight like no other, but the trout are by far the most beautiful fish I've had the privilege of landing. It's great to know of such an informative website as this, devoted to such a thrilling sport. Hopefully in due time I can take up fly fishing, and have something to contribute to this community.

Again, thanks for the replies, and tight lines.
TroutnutOctober 15th, 2009, 11:00 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2458
Filling one's head with arcane trivia about fish and aquatic insects is a scary disease of the mind, and I suffer from a condition that is chronic and probably terminal. I appreciate everyone's concern for my mental health, but I think I need a twelve-step program (or an intervention?).


New board rule: Anyone attempting an intervention to prevent Gonzo from filling his head with arcane fish & bug trivia will be immediately banned from the board for life!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shawnny3October 15th, 2009, 4:06 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Do I need to delete my original post to avoid board exile? My wife would like me to take my chances.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
LoopyOctober 15th, 2009, 6:36 pm
Collingwood

Posts: 1
Loopy says it is a lake trout, sure nuff, but one that is rather confused.
FalsiflyOctober 16th, 2009, 10:57 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 655
New board rule: Anyone attempting an intervention to prevent Gonzo from filling his head with arcane fish & bug trivia will be immediately banned from the board for life!


Far be it from me to intervene, but I would request a redistribution of knowledge. So keep it coming Gonzo.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Dsdubmon1October 18th, 2009, 2:03 am
Posts: 2anyone ever fish the salmon river near schyler falls,n.y ? if so, let me know. thank you.

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