Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Detective Fisher

One aspect of species fishing is learning how to tell the differences in the species.  This can be simple such as the differnce between a Northern Pike and a Muskie, but some species it can get real confusing and even takes a bit of research (it helps to have fisheries friends).

In MN there are 6 species of Redhorse, 4 species of Salmon, 3 Carpsuckers, etc.  Sometimes the differences come down to scale counts and other times it can be fin shape/position along with a whole managery of head, body, and fin ray counts.

After consulting a few "in the know" with the Salmonids I (we) have come to the conclusion that my North Shore trip was a success with a new species for myself.  I looked in the mouth of said fish to see if it was black (which most Salmon have black mouths) and the mouth wasn't black or white, kind of greyish.  I thought this meant that said fish was in fact a small Steelhead.  I thought something was off though and consulted my panel.  Considering caudle fin shape (deep fork), lack of spots on the tail/body, head shape, and the fact that the scales easily rubbed off; my small Steelhead is in fact my first Coho Salmon.  Woohoo!

I took a couple pictures; one with flash and the other without.  When I clean up the second one it becomes clear that we are talking Coho here.

Ah, the joys of species fishing.  Now the only MN Salmonid I have left to catch is the Atlantic......which could be nearly impossible in this day in age, but we'll see, I never give up.

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