|Hybrid:||Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis|
The tiger trout (Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis) is a sterile, intergeneric hybrid of the brown trout (Salmo trutta) and the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Pronounced vermiculations in the fish's patterning gave rise to its name, evoking the stripes of a tiger. Tiger trout are a rare anomaly in the wild, as the parent species are relatively unrelated, being members of different genera and possessing mismatched numbers of chromosomes. However, specialized hatchery rearing techniques are able to produce tiger trout reliably enough to meet the demands of stocking programs.
Tiger trout can be produced reliably in hatcheries. This is done by fertilizing brown trout eggs with brook trout milt and heat shocking, causing the creation of an extra set of chromosomes and increasing survival rates from 5% to 85%. Tiger trout have been reported to grow faster than natural species, though this assessment is not universal, and they have been widely stocked for sport fishing.
Tiger trout are known to be highly piscivorous (fish-eating), and are a good control against rough fish populations. This makes tigers popular with many fish stocking programs, such as with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Their own population numbers can be tightly controlled as well, since they are sterile.
Many US states have had stocking programs for tiger trout. Wisconsin discontinued its program in the late 1970s. Tigers were exclusively stocked in the Great Lakes. After the stocking program was discontinued, a 20-pound-plus (9-kg-plus) world-record tiger trout was caught in the Great Lakes.
Wild tiger trout
This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014)
Wisconsin currently has no stocking program for tiger trout, but the hybrids show up naturally in the state's small streams (in particular in the Driftless Area). As brook trout populations have rebounded, incidences of tiger trout have improved from "exceedingly rare" to a "a bit better than rare."
- "Tiger trout — myth or fact?/Biological bits". The Daily Mining Gazette. The Mining Gazette. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
- "Tiger Trout". Arizona Game and Fish Department. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
- "Tiger Trout (Salmo trutta × Salvelinus fontinalis) - Species Profile". NAS - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
- "Making tiger trout". Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
- Altman, Jim (24 March 2022). "Trout Season goes year-round and DEEP is stocking up". FOX 61. FOX 61. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
- Thousands of tigers released in Utah (trout that is!) Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, 24 May 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2006
- Watch out, Utah chubs: Tiger trout placed in Scofield Reservoir Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, 24 May 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2006
- Tiger Trout & Hybrids Archived 2006-08-28 at the Wayback Machine Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Retrieved 11 September 2006
- "Tiger Trout Fishing - Utah Fish Species". Utah Fishing Info. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Searock, Kevin (2013). Troutsmith: An Angler's Tales and Travels. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 32–35. ISBN 9780299293734.