|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). The name derives from the pronounced vermiculations, which evoke the stripes of a tiger. The fish is an anomaly in the wild, with the brook trout having 84 chromosomes and the brown trout 80. Records show instances as far back as 1944. The cross itself is unusual in that the parents are members of different genera.
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
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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."
- Mark A. Nale When a Trout is a Tiger! Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited. Retrieved 11 September 2006
- "The Brown/Brook Trout Hybrid: Tiger Trout". Troutster.com - Fly Fishing and Trout Information - Facts, Tips and Tricks. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Salmo x Salvel hi inus trutta x fontinalis USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database. Retrieved 11 September 2006
- "Beautiful Bastards: Check Out These Tiger Trout Photos". Field & Stream. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- 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.