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Wisconsin Great Lakes Brown Trout Strains

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  • Wisconsin Great Lakes Brown Trout Strains

    Seeforellens and Domestic browns are different strains of the same species. Domestic browns are typically more darker brown colored and have more spots throughout the entire body. Seeforellen have more of a silver look to them and the spots are fewer and the spots less defined. Seeforellen can grow to really large. Typical domestic strain trout are released in the great lakes and small streams in Wisconsin. The brown trout in the small streams grow slower because they eat different food. The lake brown trout have bigger food available and more abundant food. Seeforellen are not stocked in small streams in Wisconsin. Seeforellen literally translates to Sea Trout in German. This does not mean they are exclusively from Germany. Many lakes or Seas in Europe and the surrounding areas have Seeforellen.


    Ted Kirkpatrick is pictured with his male domestic strain brown trout he caught and released in a Great Lakes tributary.

    The Wisconsin state record lake run trout is 41-pound, 8-ounce brown trout and 40.6 inches long . It was caught in Lake Michigan waters north of Racine. It appears to be a Seeforellen strain. The largest Wisconsin inland brown trout on record is 18 pounds, 6 ounces and was caught in Lake Geneva and it was 34.3 inches long. Both record trout were females. Typically female trout grow faster than male trout. This is also true for the Great Lakes.



    This enormous female Seeforellen was caught and released by Ted Kirkpatrick in a Great Lakes tributary. Ted weighed the trout before release and it was an eyelash under 20 pounds.

    The spawning times of the Seeforellen and Domestic strains of brown trout are different. The age at maturity can be used to distinguish each strain from the other, but physically the fish are very similar. The “German” or Domestic strain of brown trout may begin staging in harbor mouths for their spawning run beginning in July, with the majority of the run occurring in September and October. The spawning run for Seeforellens generally occurs in November and December. The age at which the fish matures is also a distinguishing characteristic of each strain, with the Domestic brown trout maturing at 2-3 years of age and the Seeforellen at 3-4 years. This later age of maturity in the Seeforellen usually allows for greater growth before their first spawning.
    Male adult domestic and Seeforellen strain have a pronounced hooked lower jaw. This area is also called a “kype.” This is also true in the inland adult trout. All of the trout in the inland waters of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes have intermingled the different strains and it is hard to say if a trout is 100 percent Seeforellen or domestic strain or a couple other strains mixed in. Only a laboratory analysis can tell the true ancestry.
    http://lenharris.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Great info! I've always noticed different patterns in the browns. Are there others strains besides the two you mention? Here's a few pics I've taken over the years showing more of the diversity. I love the blue parr marks that show through on the wild browns...























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    • #3
      This guy was caught in June on the Nanthala River a few miles above Lake Fontana. The Lake had been very high and the Lake Trout could get over the barrier Falls. He was 29" and aprox 16 lbs. Any info on this strain or a simlar strain being stocked into North Carolina?
      "Fly Fishing Is Not A Team Sport"----Tom McGuane

      The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout – cold, hard, spotted and beautiful – becomes “number seven.”
      Tom McGuane

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      • #4
        Go to Page 6 of the August, 2009 Tightlines for a look at the different strains of brown trout found in the Chattooga (and others) River. While not a definitive thesis, this is backed up by over 50 years of an Ol' Rabunite's first hand experience. And who can argue with that?

        http://rabuntu.org/site/wp-content/u...ES-2009-08.pdf

        Pat Hopton
        Rabun Chapter President
        www.rabuntu.org

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        • #5
          I think the point of the Info was Seeforellen Browns VS the German/Domestic Browns (with the All other strains being lumped into one catorgory, German/Domestic Brown), not a statment on how many or how few strains of Brown's in existence. I found a bigger question is how did a Seeforellen (or something very simlar) get from Wisconsin to Lake Fontana in North Carolina. I'm guessing it was illegally stocked into Fontana or I've heard of some attempts to create a "salmon" run out of Fontana years ago. I don't have much info on that other than word of mouth. Does anybody have info on this??
          Last edited by zug buggin; 12-21-11, 10:32 AM.
          "Fly Fishing Is Not A Team Sport"----Tom McGuane

          The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout – cold, hard, spotted and beautiful – becomes “number seven.”
          Tom McGuane

          Comment


          • #6
            ZUG BUGGIN'

            Fontana salmon ..................... Hmmmmmmmmm Well, if I told you I would have to kill you. How bad do you want to know?

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            • #7
              I think that monster Brown lived it's whole life in the Nanty, for a few reasons. 1) I don't think the lake could get high enough for fish to climb the barrier falls at the end of the river, it's not physically possible without overflowing the dam, 2) Brown Trout are not steelhead or salmon, and are not known for climbing tall falls, 3) Great Lakes run fish do not have to make great climbs to get into the rivers, elevation changes are not like that in the GL region 4) Browns like that are known to inhabit the Nanty.

              I think you are assuming a lot based solely on a similar spot pattern/color scheme from 2 pictures of fish.

              FM
              The tug is the drug!

              "Grow a pear!" - Groundpounder

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              • #8
                browns

                all browns up here are stocked originally.

                a seeforellen could be stocked there too.
                http://lenharris.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  Not a seeforellen heritage


                  Seeforellen heritage
                  http://lenharris.blogspot.com/

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                  • #10
                    Bump
                    #JBNavy

                    "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                    -Chinese Proverb

                    “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
                    -Norman Maclean

                    "We are what we hunt."
                    -PH

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