Tiger Trout – Arkansas

Reports From The Field - Lisa Bellue

September 15, 2020

Tiger Trout Arkansas

Tiger Trout introduced to the White River

In early June of this year the Arkansas Game and Fish Department, released 2,500 tiger trout into the White River system.

It has been the first time the species has been introduced into river and the conservation department will be doing ongoing study to see just how well they will survive in the river system.

Tiger trout, are often stocked in waters in the western and northwestern United States.  This is the first time they have been stocked in the State and for the most part is an experimental stocking without any guarantee that it will happen again.

They were released just below the dam at the boat ramp on the Baxter county side with hopes that many would stay in the catch and release section of the river and have a higher chance of survival over the up coming years.

 

shane tiger trout

One of the most asked questions in the boat is if the Tiger Trout will reproduce.  They had to originate somehow, right?  So, off to the internet I went scouring any information I could find on the matter.  Everybody seems to know they are a hybrid a cross between a Brown trout and a Brook Trout.  What I found interesting was that there is a chromosomal difference between the parents, making it an anomaly when it happens.

dirty tiger

In areas with a dense Brook Trout population, the Tiger Trout could be produced in the wild.

Those little Tigers cannot make more baby Tigers as they are sterile and piscivorous.

What does that mean?

It means those 2500 Tigers swimming in the White are not going to get together to make more baby tigers.

So how did the AGFC get so lucky obtaining these little deviations from the norm in the trout world?

They were acquired via trade as fingerlings from a hatchery in Wyoming in April 2019, in the exchange for channel catfish and crappie.

The Tigers resided at the Jim Hinkle/Spring River State Fish Hatchery, in Mammoth Springs, until they reached a length of 10-12 inches.

 

The trout have a vivid, vermiculation across their sides and back much like Brook Trout without the blue spots and have a tan background coloration to them.

What I have witnessed and was reassured in my internet search was that the Tiger Trout is an aggressive eater and that they will become fish eaters at a very young age.

They without a doubt have some of the same anger management issues of the brown trout.

They will charge at any small streamer with a vengeance, they will take the largest stonefly pattern I have in my fly box.

These newly stocked trout are small right now, but they have an appetite that will only get bigger with time.

 

todd tiger trout

There are currently no state regulations in place to protect the newly stocked fish, but hopefully by the start of next year, if the commission allows, starting on Jan 1, 2021 all Tiger Trout, no matter what section they are caught would have to be released!

This would then give the AGFC biologists time to survey how well the hybrids hold up in the Arkansas Tailwaters.  Hopefully if the result is 2-6-pound Streamer Eating Tigers or even bigger, the AGFC will pursue stocking more in the future!

lisa tiger trout white river tiger trout August 2020 aug tiger tom tiger trout jillian tiger trout

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