Thursday, January 18, 2007

Super Fish - Ho Ha!

What looks like a rainbow trout, fights like a rainbow trout, bites like a rainbow trout, but is 10 times more resistant to whirling disease? Ho Ha Trout!

The Ho-Ha is a true rainbow and can reproduce, and because it is Utah's most popular game fish and is more resistant to WD, it is an ideal introduction. The Ho-Ha is a cross between a rainbow from Harrison Lake, Mont., which has proved to be more resistant to the whirling disease parasite, and a rainbow trout from Germany from the Hofer strain, which has proved to be even more resistant.

(photo: Ray Grass - Deseret Morning News)


Krafty said...

Is genetic manipulation a good thing? OK, maybe genetic manipulation is a strong term, but cross breeding geographically removed strains of a species is manipulation isn't it? I thought the preservation of genetically unique strains of trout was important in the US. Don't they kill some stocks of fish in some waters, so that 'resident' and unique strains can prosper? Is that a worthwhile objective or a misguided one? I wonder where the Ho Ha sits in that equation?

Krafty said...
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Murdock said...


All your points are valid. I suppose one could say that man often makes a mess when he tries to impact the natural course of things.

However, I can also see where folks who would be impacted economically by the loss of a fishery would try anything they could to keep it functioning.

I suppose I agree with you when it comes to a natural mountian brookie stream.

Anybody else care to weigh in?

Krafty said...

I understand the economic forces that lie behind these kinds of development, and faced with financial ruin I'm sure I'd be hard pressed to ignore the potential solution that this 'crossed' fish might offer. I only fear one day such moves will one day return to bite us full square in the butt!

Here in the UK we introduce strains of brown trout that seem at best to be of uncertain origin and at worst of dubious origin. Though I am assured introductions of fish are closely monitored by The Environment Agency, some of the fish I see look like another species entirely never mind another strain. Our local trout are quite stunning while the stocked fish are relatively ugly - this isn't a condition they grow out of especially.

Fortunately this is a simple thing to fix, relatively. All the fishery needs is a kill limit or the enforcement of C&R. The whole stocking policy on my local waters has to do with over fishing.

Fixing a situation caused by disease is a bigger issue. Ultimately one has to ask where the line should be drawn. Maybe someone has a link to a Trout Unlimited policy document of something at The Federation of Fly Fishers that might give some precedence?