Beautiful Bastards: Check Out These Tiger Trout Photos

Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

By Len "Spinner" Harris The tiger trout is a sterile hybrid cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout. The fish exhibits unusual markings found in neither parent. Tiger trout are rare in the wild, appearing only in areas where brook and brown trout share spawning grounds.Bill Byrne/Masswildlife.com
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

This interspecies cross is unusual, in part because each fish belongs to a separate genus (Salvelinus for brook trout and Salmo for browns). It happens rarely in the wild, but can be (and is) easily performed by fisheries biologists or hatchery technicians. This wild (non-hatchery) tiger trout was caught in Southwestern Wisconsin by angler Kevin Searock. A typical tiger caught in the wild is between 8 and 16 inches long. Tigers are pretty fish. The normal vermiculations (wormlike markings) found on the backs of most brookies become enlarged and often contorted into stripes (hence the name 'tiger'), swirls, spots, and rings. The trout also exhibit a greenish cast, which lets you know, when you hook one, that there is something different on the end of your line long before the fish is in hand.Len Harris
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

Naturally-occuring tiger trout generally appear only in streams that have higher brook trout than brown trout populations. And while they don't appear often, they are becoming more commonly found in the Midwest and New England. This native tiger was caught in Wisconsin on a Panther Martin spinner.Len Harris
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

Many states throughout the United States have active stocking programs for tiger trout. Massachusetts, for example. The state record (shown here) measured 26 inches and weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces. Angler Michael Shelton caught the fish in Peters Pond, near Sandwich.Donna McBrien
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

Wyoming also boasts an active stocking program. This state-record tiger was caught on July 26, 2006 by Greg Salisbury. It measured 16 1/2 inches long. The lake was stocked the year prior with 12-inch tigers.Greg Salisbury
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

Tiger trout were stocked in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan waters between 1974 and 1977, but this stopped due to poor hatch rates in Wisconsin hatcheries. All tigers caught in Wisconsin these days are the result of natural reproduction. They are not hatchery fish. Lake-run tigers had (and still have) amazing growth rates compared to small stream fish.Peter Friedland
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

ÂLen Harris
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

ÂLen Harris
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

The author with a native Wisconsin tiger trout.Len Harris
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

ÂLen Harris
Tiger Trout

Tiger Trout

ÂLen Harris