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Old 10-13-2015, 08:05 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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Wild or not?

I tend to fish streams that are out of the way or where streams aren't stocked . However sometimes I'll take the kids with me to areas that are stocked and we'll bring home a few fish if we're convinced they're stockers. I've always heard you can tell a wild trout because it's bottom fins aren't worn down, it has more vibrant colors, and fights harder. But I've caught plenty fish that I'm sure were stockers that fit that same description. I've seen this especially with apaches in the white mountains, but a number of rainbows at oak creek last weekend I think were stockers but fit the "wild" description. Are there any other hard and fast rules to tell the difference?

I know plenty has been posted before, but I think I've exhausted what's already out there. Thanks for any help in advance.

Last edited by Backcountryfishing; 10-13-2015 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:18 AM
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Any sign of serious abrasion to the fins is an indicator of a stocked trout. There can be worn fins after spawning. Female wild trout usually have less color than males.

Only rule :"When in doubt, It's a wild trout"
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Last edited by joe; 10-14-2015 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:58 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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Thanks for helping out. I posted some pictures of fish I think were stockers because of where they were, but they sure look like they'd be wild. Caught and released a bunch at oak creek last week and almost all looked wild. I just can't picture that many wild fish in there but maybe I'm wrong?
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:58 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:00 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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Trying to decide if this was a wild bow or a stocker. Again, I pulled this out of a spot that I think is stocked, but I pulled it out right after a wild brown. Fins are look to be perfectly intact and it fought well.

Last edited by Backcountryfishing; 10-14-2015 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:00 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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Last edited by Backcountryfishing; 10-14-2015 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:02 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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This was a little apache my kid caught in the LCR by greer. Again, heavily stocked but it was in an overlooked hole that was 6" x 18" long. Colors seem too vibrant, fins are perfect. Caught another one that day that was larger and wasn't as vibrant, but again fins were perfect.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:57 AM
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Drake Side of The Moon Drake Side of The Moon is offline
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Well consider what size of stocked rainbow trout are put into Oak creek or where ever.

Are they the sub catchables (4-6 inches I think), fry (tadpole size), or incentive stockers (anything big) or a combination.
If you catch a wild looking trout smaller than the size commmonly stocked its a big clue its a ''wild'' or stream born at least.

Also would you consider stream born second generation trout from holdover parents that came from a hatchery wild by your definition?
I know what you mean had a few like that with great colors, full fins and good fighters that might be stream bred.

The first picture of the smaller rainbow that has the weird finger print sized blue circles/spots
they get on the flanks looks wilder but not so much for the second picture.

Last edited by Drake Side of The Moon; 10-15-2015 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:06 PM
Backcountryfishing Backcountryfishing is offline
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Thanks for your help. By "wild" I mean anything born in the stream. I've heard that stocked trout won't breed so if you take one out you only take that trout out of the system, rather than the rest of the trout it might spawn.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:40 PM
kad1979 kad1979 is offline
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First bow---wild and SKINNY. Second bow- stocked. Apache...never caught one...no clue.
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