The rise of the clones?

Discussion in 'Special Feature: Q&A with Jim Brown' started by Werfless, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Werfless

    SDFish VIP

    Mar 16, 2016
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    The County
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    Last couple of years, I have heard more and more anglers talk of catching "clones". Is this a factual occurrence, and if so, what do you attribute this to? I have heard explanations ranging from catch and release to an increase in fishing effort. I am not looking for a scientific perspective necessarily, just a personal one. What kinds of effects to the fishery, fisherman or fish have you noticed?
  2. Jim Brown

    Jim Brown Contributor
    Staff Member SDFish VIP

    Apr 14, 2010
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    I think it is more a matter of nomenclature than anything else and I can think of two references to "clones" for consideration.

    The least likely has to do with certain trout hatchery operations that manipulate genetics to produce "triploids," sterile hybrids that grow extremely fast making them attractive to anglers and far more profitable. I have heard these triploids described as clones.

    I think it is far more likely the reference to clones made by anglers has to do with the fact they are catching fish that are very consistent in size. In my experience this has happened when fishing a ranch pond with a single year class of like-sized fish, a catch and release fishery which results in cropping to a certain size, and also when fishing "schoolers" chasing and feeding on shad in which the fish you are catching are almost identical in size and conformation which results in them being described as clones of each other.

    Genetic manipulation or cloning if that is the right term may occur in commercial hatchery production - but that is something entirely different from anything experienced in the lakes around here.
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