Matthew L. Miller penned a beautiful story in regards to the current discovery of a “new” subspecies of redband rainbow trout in Idaho over in Fly Fisherman Journal. Whereas I extremely encourage you to learn Miller’s account, the highlights are as follows.
Most people who fish in Idaho’s Huge Wooden River assume that the rainbow trout they’re catching are descendants of hatchery fish. The Huge Wooden River flows by way of south-central Idaho, coming off the south slope of the Sawtooth Mountains by way of Ketchum, ending its 137-mile run at a confluence with the Malad River. The Malad, in flip, is a tributary to the Snake River.
In response to Miller, most biologists and anglers assumed the wild rainbow trout within the Huge Wooden River have been the family members of hatchery fish from early within the twentieth century. Nonetheless, new analysis means that the rainbow trout within the Huge Wooden are, actually, a local subspecies of redband rainbow trout.
As Miller writes, “Steelhead are rainbow trout that migrate to the ocean and again, whereas the time period ‘redband’ sometimes applies to rainbow trout that stay residents in streams. In Idaho, all rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) share comparable genetics, what is usually referred to as the ‘inside redband’ lineage. Most hatchery fish hint their origins to California and the Pacific Northwest, which is one other lineage, referred to as the ‘coastal rainbow.’”
So, not solely are the redbands within the Huge Wooden native to the drainage, however they’re additional enhanced our understanding of trout genetics in one of many final bastions of untamed trout habitat on this planet.
You may learn the remainder of Miller’s story right here.