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I recently caught a nice rainbow (15") on a gold ribbed hares ear nymph. When I filleted the beauty I found the meat be pink in

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  • I recently caught a nice rainbow (15") on a gold ribbed hares ear nymph. When I filleted the beauty I found the meat be pink in

    I recently caught a nice rainbow (15") on a gold ribbed hares ear nymph. When I filleted the beauty I found the meat be pink in color rather than the white meat we find in most of the stocked trout we catch here in eastern Pa. We assume this meant the fish was either a native (doubtful) or had been in the water for quite some time. I was wondering how long a trout must be in the creek or river until the meat turns from white to pink? Thanks guys! Pa guys have to stick together Ant!

  • #2
    Made me curious! Did some research and they said the pinkish color comes from a pigment called astaxanthin which is in crustaceans. The trout eat these freshwater crustaceans and insects and that's how u get that color of the meat. Sounds like that fish could be either or both. (Native or there a good while)Couldn't find anything on how long it took for the color change. Nice fish! Never had the luck of catching a trout that nice here in Md.

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    • #3
      probably had been in the river a while and feeding on anything other than purena trout chow. real, wild trout are indeed firm and pink. if you don't think food is important to the color of your salmonoids, then ask why the farm-raised salmon meat is dyed pink. in only a couple of states are fish sellers required to tell you that the farm-raised salmon you are looking at is dyed, to look "natural". always buy wild salmon.

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      • #4
        Way up north in Canada you'll see trout with black flesh.

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        • #5
          Western PA!!!

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          • #6
            Rainbow trout are not native anywhere east of the mississippi, so you can cross that one off the list...

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            • #7
              Yeah "naturalized" would be the correct term in the future, not "native". The length of time for the meat to change color is completely dependent on the fishes diet and what foods are available. More bugs and crayfish the quicker the color change, more minnows and the color may not change. I am not sure anyone has even conducted a study on how fast the color can change all conditions being optimal.

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              • #8
                jlfreeborn,
                has it ever occurred to you that sometimes stocked rainbows/browns don't get caught in one season and just maybe reproduce in the stream?

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                • #9
                  I don't know about white to pink, but I understand any rainbow, brown, or cutthroat's meat will change toward salmon colored if it feeds, like deerslayer66 says, on crustaceans long enough. For trout, in a stream, that often means freshwater shrimp.

                  Male brookies in CO -- which to my knowledge, doesn't stock brookies -- seem to change the color of their meat as part of their reproductive cycle.

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                  • #10
                    Most everyone's got it right. A diet rich in scud, crayfish & aquatic insects will turn a white-meat hatchery fish into a pink-meat table fish in about 6 months.

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                    • #11
                      I have caught many fish in the same location with totally different color meat. So the diet makes sense, if that is true I never thought that some trout had favorite foods, I thought they were all opportunistic.

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