Waters & words

Posts tagged “genetics

Three rivers and their stippled beauties

There has been much talk over the years about the subtle variations in the colouration and spot patterns on browns from different rivers here in the KZN midlands. I too have expressed opinions or generalisations about how the fish look in this river or that.  So it occurred to me to post here a sample of fish pictures from each river. In this way you can not only decide for yourself, but you can help me identify a pattern or trend, if indeed there is one. Because much as I adore the poetry in describing the special colouration of some hallowed stream’s trout, I have to confess that with the hard cold evidence in front of me, I am struggling!

So there you have it: Loch Leven strains , Von Bher (red spots), maybe some Slovenian influence, and who knows what else in between. The photos were also taken at various times of the season, and of course that will have some effect too. But can you think up a rule that will hold true, or describe a pattern that can’t be disproven with these or other pictures? Here is a table summarising what I can see in these pictures.

Characteristic/ River Bushmans Mooi Umgeni
Red spots some yes yes
small spots no yes yes
large splodges yes yes yes
silvery no not so much yes
butter yellow yes yes some
spots up on the head & mouth no no no
 Leopard like spot shapes ? ? ?

Please do drop me a comment if you have any ideas, because this one has me beaten…… Some of these photos are robbed from my friends and colleagues off Facebook or the internet, and many were not taken by me. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.  Thank you to any of you who unknowingly donated pictures in the name of science !

Thank you to Wayne Stegen, Peter Brigg and Graeme Steart for additional pictures received so far. Their pictures have been added to the albums. Please do keep them coming!