Salmon Trout of Lake Southerland

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Salmon Trout of Lake Southerland Salmo declivifrons Meek

The general colour of this trout closely resembles that of the blueback trout of Crescent Lake. It is, however, some darker, and has no spots except on the caudal fin. The upper anterior profile is also much more curved.

Head 3 4/5; depth 4 3/8; eye 5 1/7; snout 4 1/2; maxillary 1 2/3; scales 148; D. 10; A. 11; Br. 10; gillrakers 7 + 10. Body elongate, back elevated, anterior profile much decurved; tip of snout below axis of body; gape nearly horizontal, more so than in other trout; maxillary reaching beyond eye; dentition strong. Colour, dark blue above and on side to lateral line posteriorly, becoming abruptly silvery; belly nearly white; no spots on head or body or elsewhere except few on caudal fin; upper margin of lower jaw black, a dark blue patch on cheek, extending obliquely upward and backward to near upper edge of opercle, pectorals, ventrals and anal yellowish.

Known only from Lake Southerland where it is occasionally taken and where it is called "Salmon trout", according to Professor Elliot, who collected the type. He says, "it is easily recognizable, not only by the sharply curved upper outline of the fore part of the body, but also by its quite different style of colouration, which resembles somewhat that of the blueback of Lake Crescent."

"As there is no water connection between these 2 lakes, and Lake Southerland is 75 feet lower than Crescent Lake, and, moreover, the fish of that lake having no communication with the sea on account of a very high precipitous fall a short distance from its outlet, it cannot be supposed that these two forms are in any way identical. Out of a large number of trout caught by me in Lake Southerland only 2 or 3 of this form were procured, and they were all of small size. This could not be the fault of the lake, which is exceedingly deep and nearly 3 miles in length. It is a gamy fish, takes the fly, leaps out of the water, and is a good fighter for its size." It reaches a length of 10 inches.

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