Blueback Trout of Crescent Lake

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Blueback Trout of Crescent Lake Salmo beerdsleei (Jordan & Seale)

One of the most interesting trouts, recently brought to the attention of anglers and ichthyologists by Admiral Beardslee, is the blueback or Beardslee trout of Crescent Lake. This lake is in Clallam County, Washington, in the northern part of the Olympic Mountains, 700 feet above the sea, and the blueback trout is known only from it. This trout lives in deep water. Examples caught by Admiral Beardslee in October were taken at depths varying from 30 to 50 feet. Others caught on April 18 were taken at a depth of 30 to 35 feet, and so far as we have learned it has not been secured in shallow water. The best season for getting this trout seems to be in the spring; probably April to June inclusive though good catches have been made in October. It is taken only by trolling with the spoon, or, at least, chiefly in that way. They may be taken by trolling with a baited hook, a strip of trout belly being the bait used. Probably various other lures would prove successful. The blueback has the reputation among those who have had the pleasure of catching it of being a very great game-fish. Admiral Beardslee says they fight hard until brought near the surface when they give up. When landed they are generally puffed up with air, a condition following their quick transferrence from considerable depths to the surface. Examples taken in the spring and put in pools in mountain streams with other trout died very soon, while the others lived.

A 10-pound fish taken by Miss Sara Beazley, of Columbian Missouri "made a fierce and prolonged fight, racing along with the boat for a long distance and making several desperate and out-of-the-water leaps and plunges to get away. Miss Beazley followed the plan of rowing along slowly, stopping rowing altogether for a few moments and then starting off again slowly. Both large fish were taken just as the boat started up after one of three brief stops, during which the troll had gone down to a greater depth than when the boat was in motion." The blueback trout reach a large size. Four examples caught by Admiral Beardslee weighed, 6, 11, 11 1/2 and 11 1/2 pounds respectively. One taken by Miss Beazley measured 29 1/2 inches long and weighed strong 10 pounds. Another caught by Mr. Ben Lewis, and forwarded by Mr. M. J. Carrigan, of Port Angeles, to Stanford University was 32 inches long, and weighed 14 pounds. Head 3 4/5; depth about 4; eye 4 5/6 in head, 1 2/5 in snout; snout 3 3/5 D. 10; A. 11; scales 24-130-20, about 70 series in front of dor- sal, counting along median line, or 60 if rows along upper side are counted; Br. 11; gillrakers 8+13 rather long and slender. Head pointed, mouth rather large maxillary extending to posterior margin of eye, 1 4/5 in head, with about 20 teeth; preorbital very narrow, the maxillary almost touching the orbit; several large teeth along side of tongue; no hyoid teeth; teeth on vomer in zig-zag series; origin of dorsal at middle of length; origin of anal midway between that of dorsal and base of caudal; caudal broad, nearly truncate. Colour, on the back a deep dark-blue ultramarine of a peculiar transparency, dotted with small round black spots about the size of a pin head; side abruptly brighter, with many scales silvery; lower parts white; sides, top of head dorsal, and caudal fins covered with very small spots; pectorals and ventrals nearly colourless, without spots; adipose fin with 2 spots; no red on lower jaw.

The flesh is light lemon-colour before cooking, during which process it whitens. It is devoid of the oily salmon flavour, and is very excellent.

From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann, 1902.