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FlyfishingnMarch 6th, 2018, 6:31 pm
Posts: 4Hello,

Trying to figure out what species of fish is in this really old photograph. Pretty sure it was taken in the Montana/Wyoming area.



Any ideas?

Thanks!
IasgairMarch 7th, 2018, 10:00 am
Colorado

Posts: 97
I want to say that it's cutthroat. They on occasion will school up like that. There is one fish in particular, the one closest to the camera, seems to have spots on the tail that look as though they move up the body towards the head and then fade off like they do.

I really don't believe they are landlocked salmon.
FlyfishingnMarch 7th, 2018, 10:24 am
Posts: 4
I want to say that it's cutthroat. They on occasion will school up like that. There is one fish in particular, the one closest to the camera, seems to have spots on the tail that look as though they move up the body towards the head and then fade off like they do.

I really don't believe they are landlocked salmon.


Thank ya sir. I had somebody on another forum guess cutthroat as well. We may have a winner!

Cheers
FlyfishingnMarch 7th, 2018, 3:43 pm
Posts: 4So far I've had two people guess Cutthroat and a third guess Sucker Fish. Anybody see a reason to favor one over the other?
CrenoMarch 7th, 2018, 6:11 pm
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 278
Do you have any idea on the context of the pic? Why are they stacked up like that- hatchery? Any idea on size - minnows at the bait shop? While it would not explain the aggregation, there appears to be a white base at many of the ventral fins and several with what looks like white ventral margin on the tail fin. That with what appears to be a pointed head and maybe large eyes says walleye.
FlyfishingnMarch 7th, 2018, 7:30 pm
Posts: 4I wish I had more context, but I don't. And not being familiar with fly fishing or the habit of fish, I don't even have any assumptions to offer.

All I really know is that this is in a Stream somewhere in the south Montana/Northwest Wyoming area.

I had somebody on another forum point out that these fish seem to have adipose fins, which suckers don't have. So maybe they're Trout after all.
PaulRobertsMarch 11th, 2018, 3:30 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1774
They are salmonids.

Guesses as to possibly identity(ies):

Tails not square enough for brookies, or possibly for adult-sized browns either.

Possibly Kokanee, not in spawning condition. Then I don't know why such a crowd, unless this is in a hatchery, or a massive lake draw-down.

Possibly Whitefish, but snouts too long and not subterminal enough.

If this is a cold spring during a hot summer drought, then it could be a mix of species.

I possibly see pale patches on the fin edges, tail and bodies, which might indicate fungal infections that are common post-spawn. Might be a post-spawn aggregation of trout trying to head back to a lake.

My best guess is Oncorhynchus, cutts or bows, at a spring during summer drought. Second guess, post-spawn aggregation, arrested in their attempts to get somewhere.
WbranchMarch 19th, 2018, 5:03 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2391
The 2nd fish in on the bottom left hand corner has a head very much like a Rocky Mountain Whitefish. I don't want to disagree with Paul because he is a lot more savvy than I am but it appears to have that under slung mouth that whitefish have and considering how prolific they are in many of the Montana rivers I fish that is my guess.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutMarch 19th, 2018, 6:47 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2457
I'm guessing they're suckers (family Catastomidae) of some sort. In the bottom left part of the image, for several fish you can see pretty well the outline of the back where the adipose fin should be in a salmonid (including whitefish), and I can't see one. The body proportions just don't look right for any kind of trout, too, but it's harder to quantify that.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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