Outdoor Skills – Fishing Q&A

Q: I'm a U.S. Army sergeant stationed in Iraq. I have been fishing in many of Saddam's lakes over here, and I'm catching a fish that has a mouth like a smallmouth bass and a body that looks like a trout's. I've attached a photo. Can you tell me what it is?

A: You really stumped me with this one, so I asked around at several major U.S. museums. I was led to Dr. Brian Coad, a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, and an expert on fishes of the Middle East. Here’s what Coad had to say about your fish: “The sergeant may have caught a member of the carp family, Barbus grypus, although the photo does not allow sufficient detail to be sure.” He also mentioned Barbus esocinus, which can exceed 6 feet in length and has been caught by fishermen. To find out more about the fishes of Iraq, go to Coad’s website at www.briancoad.com.