Home Forums Fishing Trout Fishing Short gills on stocked trout-anyone ever see this?

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  • stick500stick500
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    Was catching some late-season stocked rainbows yesterday (from Manchester hatchery) and I started noticing that a few of them appeared (at least to me) to have gill covers that seemed to be about 1/4-1/2 inch short at the opening end. In other words I could see the red gills when the fish is just lying there as I took the hook out.

    Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics as I was releasing them as quickly and harmlessly as possible.

    All these fish looked otherwise healthy, fat, happy and aggressive (lots of jumpers!).

    Has anyone else ever noticed this?

    AvatarTeamAsgrow
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    Post count: 9151

    Quote by: stick500

    Was catching some late-season stocked rainbows yesterday (from Manchester hatchery) and I started noticing that a few of them appeared (at least to me) to have gill covers that seemed to be about 1/4-1/2 inch short at the opening end. In other words I could see the red gills when the fish is just lying there as I took the hook out.

    Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics as I was releasing them as quickly and harmlessly as possible.

    All these fish looked otherwise healthy, fat, happy and aggressive (lots of jumpers!).

    Has anyone else ever noticed this?

    Hatchery trout lead rough lives in the concrete runways before they are released. Probably just damage due to injuries earlier.

    Avatarspeng5
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    Post count: 2928

    I’ve noticed that on fish from all of the hatcheries (Elkader and Decorah too) that I have caught in their respectively stocked streams.

    Like Asgrow mentioned I have always just chalked it up to the concrete walls at the hatchery. Besides short gill covers Ive seen fish with considerable rubbing/scarring on the top of their “snout” or top lip, in front of both lips, on their bellies, on their pectoral fins, a wonky eye, etc.

    You know now that I think about it they have all been rainbows that I’ve noticed the short gill cover on so pretty sure they were 100% hatchery fish. I’ve caught some rainbows I believe to have been wild at streams where natural reproduction has been confirmed and I have never seen one of those rainbows with short gill covers.

    Avatarmunchy71
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    Google “gill cover erosion”. It is often attributed to high bacteria levels.

    -Munchy

    Avatarspeng5
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    OP, do you mind sharing where said fish were caught? I wonder if maybe Twin Bridges?

    stick500stick500
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    Post count: 457

    not Twin Bridges, but from Manchester hatchery 🙂

    thanks for all the info guys- I thought I might have been imagining things, but the gill covers (new word for the day- operculum!) just didn’t look right

    yeh, I think most of us have noticed the typical frayed fins with the white edges of stockers over the years

    what struck me this summer was catching a few wild browns that were absolutely spectacular with their colors and perfect condition

    but I’m not complaining at all about what the IA DNR does for us with trout stocking- I sure have lots of fun with them

    Avatarmbchilton
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    Quote by: munchy71

    Google “gill cover erosion”. It is often attributed to high bacteria levels.

    -Munchy

    +1. You’ll see fish like this in any stream in Iowa stocked with rainbow trout.

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