Silver Trout of Lake Tahoe

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Silver Trout of Lake Tahoe Salmo tahoensis


In the deep waters of Lake Tahoe is found a trout of immense size, known to the anglers who are familiar with that lake as the silver trout. So far as known this trout is never seen in the shallow water, but remains at considerable depths, and spawns in the lake itself. It is a large, robust fish, profusely spotted, the spots often oblong, and the general colouration more silvery than in the ordinary Tahoe trout. An example, the type of the species, 2 feet 4 inches long, and weighing 7 1/2 pounds, caught by Mr. A. J. Bayley, presented the following characters.

Head 4 1/15; depth 3 4/5; eye 7 2/3 D. 9; A. 12; Br. 10; scales 33205-40, 140 pores; P. 1 2/3; maxillary 1 2/3. Body very robust, compressed, unusually deep for a trout the outline elliptical; head large; eye small, silvery; mouth large, maxillary reaching well beyond the eye; scales small, reduced above and below; caudal fin slightly lunate, almost truncate when spread. Colour, dark green above; belly silvery; side with a broad, coppery shade covering cheek and opercles; sides of lower jaw yellowish; fins olivaceous, a little reddish below; orange dashes between rami of lower jaw moderately conspicuous; back, from tip of snout to tail, closely covered with large, unequal black spots, those on nape and top of head round; posteriorly the spots run together, forming vari ously shaped markings, usually vertically oblong, which may be regarded as formed of 3 or 4 spots placed in a series or with 1 or 2 at the side of the other, the longest of these oblong markings being not quite as long as the eye; spots on side of head and body very sparse, those on head round, those behind vertically oblong: belly profusely covered with small black spots which are nearly round; still smaller round spots numerous on lower jaw; spots on caudal peduncle vertically oblong or curved ; dorsal and caudal densely covered with oblong spots, smaller than those on body; anal with rather numerous round spots; pectorals and ventrals with a few small spots, the first ray of each with a series of small, faint spots; adipose fin spotted.

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