Do You Know Where Your Trout Came From?

Invasive Alien Species?
Invasive Alien Species?

Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Some of you may be lucky enough to fish for those geographically isolated and somewhat rare native subspecies of rainbow and cutthroat trout that live out west or the two equally rare southwest species—Apache and Gila trout. But for most of us, when we catch a trout, it’s either a rainbow, brown or brook trout.  Oddly enough, two of these species of trout—rainbow and brown–are listed in the 100 of The World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.  Sounds pretty bad. Even the brook trout is considered an invasive species.

It’s hard to imagine that the beautifully iridescent, fat and feisty rainbow I just caught in a local river is an invasive species.  But when you learn about the history of these three fish—rainbow, brown and brook trout—you can see why they can be considered invasive.  For the fly fisherman, there have been 100s of books written describing these trout—their range, description, behaviors, habitat, etc.  But there are three volumes that really focus on the question: “Do You Know Where Your Trout Came From?”

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