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  • #16
    Originally posted by browniez View Post
    I've got an interesting theory on the coloration.

    Disclaimer layman's logic.

    John, Splatek, and Dylar I would enjoy your opinions on my theory.

    I feel like the red accents on our browns (the strongest I have ever personally seen), and also perhaps some level of the coloration of stream bred bows, may have something to do with nutrient/pigmentation pass through in the food chain.

    Similar in concept to how flamingos assume the pink pigmentation of their food sources. Is there any biological reason this could not occur in trout?

    I know color/spot variations tend to run along strain lines to a degree, and are impacted by natural selection.

    Given our red clay substrates this seems like it could be somewhat viable, given that there isn't a biological reason that fish cannot exhibit the same principles as a flamingos. Different classes of Phyla Chordata be durned.

    This observation is entirely anecdotal as I am going off memory, and I have skipped some geographic areas of the south, but generally I seem to recall rivers in areas that have a more red clay based geology producing more red accent dominant browns.
    The only other rivers I have seen brown trout consistently color up like ours do are from mysis shrimp based fishery. We do not have mysis shrimp here in our system so it has to be a tie into nutrients or temperature of the water source. I do want to hear their opining though.

    "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
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    “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
    -Norman Maclean

    "We are what we hunt."


    • #17
      I read somewhere that they get the red coloration from eating crustaceans. So like Philhutch posted above... maybe some type of shrimp or cray fish in the diet?
      Hi my name is Charles and I'm a fishaholic.

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      • #18
        I did hear that crustaceans and types of algae that trout feed on does change their coloration, but I only heard of this in the coloration of their flesh and not the exterior. I honestly don't know if their diet does correlate with exterior coloration but it would be interesting to dive into and very plausible (as you mentioned in your example of flamingos). The only question I would ask is the difference in expression of colors within feathers vs. melanin. In my opinion, it should have to do more with genetics, adaptation, or selection than anything else. I noticed the same bright red spots and coloration on browns in a well-known, small creek, in GA. I am guessing the genetics of whatever strain of browns that were mainly stocked in the Hooch and in the example stream all those years ago, along with hypothetical factors such as mate selection due to coloration, led to such pretty browns.

        The red clay hypothesis is interesting too, and in my experience, the depth of the trout does effect coloration as well.


        • #19
          Just to add to what's already being discussed from what I know regarding koi and other aquarium fish...

          Premium food gives better colors (exterior). The ingredients are what do the trick. Some of it is crustaceans, some algae and kelp etc. Just read the first five ingredients on a package of premium fish food.

          When fish eat cheap food where the first ingredient is wheat or flour their color usually is a bit more subtle. The premium ingredients make it pop. It won't create a new pattern but it will make the existing more vibrant.

          Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


          • #20
            I remember a while back someone cited an article saying there's a chemical in crawfish and other crustaceans that makes the trout/Salmon's meat red. Apparently the chemical is artificially added to farm raised salmon to give them the proper color flesh

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            • #21
              I have caught plenty of bass that are colored like their surroundings, so it makes sense that a trout could do the same thing. You just don't see it as often in Rainbows since most of them are fresh from the hatchery.


              • #22
                Trout get those deep colors when they’ve been eating a ton of flies, fish, and crustaceans in the river. The sulfer and nitrogen in the bugs and crustaceans really darken up their colors. Thats why most of the stockers or reasonably recent stockers dont have that deep rich coloring. The pellets they’re fed in the hatchery dont have the same concentrations of nutrients that natural diet has.