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Thread: help identifying a fish

  1. #1
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    Default help identifying a fish

    I am looking for help identifying the land locked salmon in this picture, caught April 12, it looks like a kokanee to me but the lake that I caught it in doesn't have kokanee and I wasn't sure with the deep forked tail whether it was a coho. adipose fin was clipped.

    (fyi- the fat rainbow above it is about 17" long, the salmon is about 19")

    thanks, roger
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Your other 2 options are coho or king. Does the lake you fished have one or the other? I haven't seen lakes with both. It is big for a coho this time of year but possible. I'd guess king without any more information than given.
    2003 Jetcraft SK2125, Yamaha 150, Yamaha T8, 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, 2007 Eagle Cap 850 Camper

  3. #3
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    the lake doesn't have either coho or kings but there is an outlet creek and I read that some searun cutthroats have come in to it in the past. there is a steelhead hatchery several miles down the outlet creek that is also raising some coho fry now but the adult silvers don't come back into the lake, just the creek.

    I guess one of the coho fry might have gone the wrong way, entered the lake and stayed there long enough to reach this size? or this fish was mixed in with recent rainbow plantings by ODFW? it was a hen and had very small egg skeins...

    the deep fork tail made me think kokanee but I guess the others have that also before they have been to the ocean...?

    roger

  4. #4
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    Most fish identification debates around salmon involve the color of the gums. I'm not an expert so I won't go into all the detail of that but a photo of the mouth would have been a big help.
    2003 Jetcraft SK2125, Yamaha 150, Yamaha T8, 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, 2007 Eagle Cap 850 Camper

  5. #5
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    What lake?bob r

  6. #6
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    Munsel Lake in Florence Oregon.

  7. #7

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    I'm guessing a coho. I'm thinking that a chinook of that size would not be so slender.More like a football shape.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Meridian
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    Default Fall chinook

    It looks to me like a land locked Fall Chinook. We had a pretty good supply of them in Luck Peak, just East of Boise. That was years ago and I have not seen one since. Their flesh breaks down fairly quickly once out of the water. They were excellent fighters and when they hit, it was game on....

  9. #9
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    Marysville, Washington
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    Default

    Looks to me to be a residual coho.

    Pretty common for coho fry to over winter in lakes and ponds. Not all that uncommon for some to find the feeding to be good enough for them to stay in freshwater. I have seen them in a number of lakes here in western Washington. The two year old fish are typically 10 or 12 inches long and the three olds a few inches larger (by late summer may reach as much as 20 inches).

    Common for folks to confuse those coho with kokanee. On my home kokanee lake those coho are seen fairly frequently - depending on the year between 1 and 10% of the fish I catch are coho yet most anglers never suspect they are anything other than a kokanee.

    They look much the same though the coho tend to be thinner and if you look at the gill sturcture the rackers are much wider spaced than the kokanee (sockeye). Also pretty common for the coho the have significantly higher parasite loads.

    Tight lines
    curt

  10. #10
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    Kokanee will have a much longer rakers (not sure about wider but not arguing, due to being plankton sifters). As opposed to short and stubby rakers (due to being meat eaters), that is the defining moment between kokanee and coho/king if you ask me (agreeing with Smalma). Picture doesn't define this, so my next questions would be.....

    are there spots on the bottom of the tail or only on the top? Tough to tell in pic, appears no spots on bottom and minimal silver in tail.
    if only on top, I would lean Coho.
    if on top and bottom, I would be convinced King.

    The Cadual Penducle "can" also be a definining characteristic between coho and king. The Coho's will actually be wider as it goes into the tail. Meaning the penducle (silver part) tapers down below the line of the body between tail fin and anal fin. A king would extend almost straight back into the tail on a straight line, no drop. A coho drops down creating a wide cadual penducle.

    Based on the cadual penducle, and the fact that I cant see spots on tail and just a little bit of silver on the tail (kings also tend to have more silver in tail)

    Coho is my answer as well.

  11. #11
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    Default

    thanks all for the comments. I did hear back that they have been planting coho fry in the lake and expecting them to head down the creek to the Siuslaw river. it appears this one spent almost 3 years in the lake hanging out with the planted rainbows...roger

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