Post By: smanoppo2 Posted: 12/11/2019 10:43:31 PMPoints: 215
Hopefully this isn't a stupid question, but it's the first time I've thought about it in the many years I've been fishing Georgetown.. but what is determining the color (and more or less the quality) of the fish meat at Georgetown? I'm not saying in this a negative light, but I'm sure we're all very familiar with the light meat of stocker Rainbows, but the wild Browns in Georgetown have pretty much the same color flesh. I know most of the time it's the diet of the fish, but I've caught Brook trout out of there with much more vivid colored meat, to the point it's more orange than pink, which would lead me to assume that the wild Browns would at least have some color compared to the stocked trout in the lake. I am by no means a biologist, but it does intrigue me that the wild Brooks, even if they're few and far between, have "better" quality meat, even though the Browns would be feeding on the same diet.
Also, I've been using this website for years and I've finally built up the courage to start posting condition updates and posting this question. I do truly appreciate what y'all have provided me
Reply by: Hawaiian Punch Posted: 12/12/2019 6:51:29 AM Points: 7788
I got no answer for you,but my father taught me "The only stupid question,is the one not asked" I'm not calling you stupid,you asked and I'm sure there are guys that know/understand the food sources and why the fish get color or don't get color. Please keep making conditions reports as updates are very helpful. Have a cup o coffee and wait for the fish Drs. to chime in.A great example of fish color is the Trout we catch at Aurora,the hold over fish have a beautiful orange color and that can be several thing,but I lean to the crawdads for that color . .there are a ton of scuds and other little creatures that the fish eat . . .you should see the stuff I find in my live well.
Reply by: Grogged1 Posted: 12/12/2019 7:20:14 AM Points: 1455
I can’t speak to the differences in Georgetown meat, but I do know that other lakes will produce the same species of fish with two totally different color filets. Take the lakers in Granby for example (never keeping one over 18”, but I do harvest a handful of smokers every year....I feel it’s their fault for tasting so good!), you can tell as soon as you cut into in one if he was chasing kokes or mysis. Some are beautifully colored crimson and some look bleached white, all from the same lake. Just my observations, tight lines!
Reply by: Golfprogreg Posted: 12/12/2019 9:00:14 AM Points: 15
President Trump must consume a lot of mysis shrimp...
All kidding aside, I find this question to be very interesting. Through the years, I have caught a few “white meat” chinook salmon off Ketchikan. It was suggested that these fish belonged to a unique strain headed to a particular river system. If that is correct, perhaps there is a genetic component as well as a dietary consideration affecting flesh coloration.
These fish had normal coloration on the outside and tasted the same as their orange fleshed relatives.
Reply by: brookieflyfisher Posted: 12/12/2019 11:39:29 AM Points: 6133
TLDR: Brook trout eat insects and zooplankton, brown trout eat fish, resulting in the difference in flesh color.
You are correct that fish meat color has a lot to do with diet. It can also affected by fish health and exertion. If a fish has been burning more calories than it is consuming (due to disease, spawning, migration, high temperatures, starvation, or a number of other factors), meat color and quality typically suffers. Since both brook trout and brown trout just spawned and are likely experiencing the exact same water quality, I am betting differences in diet are more likely.
A big assumption you've made is that brook trout and brown trout eat the same thing in Georgetown. I think this is highly unlikely. Brook trout, like rainbow and cutthroat trout, are primarily insect and zooplankgon-eaters, even at large sizes. Brown trout, on the other hand, are primarily piscivorous (fish-eaters) once they get above about 12-14" in length. This doesn't mean a big brookie or rainbow won't eat a minnow if it comes their way (explaining why they love to eat our lures), it just means browns sort of have a monopoly on the resource. Brown trout are bigger and more aggressive than other trout and are more likely to monopolize the most valuable food. The browns are the biggest and baddest, and they get the first seat at the table. They're going to eat the fattening Big Macs and leave the fries for everyone else.
The insects and zooplankton that brookies eat is high in keratin and chitin, which can turn fish meat orange (usually).
Thanks for the answer! I really should’ve thought about the size difference between Brooks and Browns in Georgetown, but it does make a lot of sense. But on my part, it probably wasn’t the best time of the year to compare meat qualities right after the spawn lol
A lot of good info guys. I've had similar experiences at Georgetown when I used to fish there. We've catch real pretty fish that you figured for sure they would have orange meat and they ended up being Bland looking white and then you catch ones that didn't look like they'd be so good and they up being bright orange or pink. It's interesting how the different things can cause different coloration in the meat.