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Northern Dolly Varden

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by DocEsox, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Thought you guys might enjoy the beauty of this spawning male dolly I caught on the Aniak River in Alaska a few weeks ago......charr are gorgeous in spawning colors.....

    Brian IMG_3489.jpg
     
    Megan :), JE, Lance.G and 5 others like this.
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Wow that is awesome!
     

  3. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    like it
    also like the Hippy rod you got going.
    I do have a question
    if that's a northern
    Whats a southern look like
    CL
     
  4. Clew.....good question on the northern and southern....they are recognized subspecies of dolly varden. The transitional line is considered to be the Susitna River. ALthough recent reading of studies indicate there is really 3 subspecies. They are difficult to tell apart but the southern dollies rarely get colored red....their fins are orange and they generally are slimmer. Additionally most of the northern strain migrate to feed in the ocean part of the year where southern subspecies only does this rarely. Basically only a biologist could tell you for sure on dissection. Arctic charr tend to have less spots which are larger and have a narrower caudal peduncle. Also southern strain rarely get over 12 or 13 lbs where the dolly WR is a northern of over 27 lbs.

    Brian

    PS: The rod is one of my own make....
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  5. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    DocEsox, Wasn't it said once that the pupil of a one of the two (Dolly or AC) is bigger than the spots usually?
     
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Those intensely colored fish must have a good supply of shrimp or some kind of crustaceans or crustacean eating fish to have carotenoids needed to bring that color out.
     
  7. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    wow I never would have guessed.
    I have always loved these colorations.
    and now to find out shrimp and crustaceans paly a big roll in the intense coloration is wild.
     
  8. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    Everyone
    I know Cecils secret to colorations on his Brookies
    LOL
     
  9. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    He is painting with shrimp :p:p
     
  10. Cecil.....generally arctic charr have bigger spots than dollies.....they are sparser too.

    Hard to find much research into spawning colors of dollies but found a good one on salmon....since sockeye, coho and kings all turn red during spawning. From what I read it does have to do with the carotenoids in their flesh. It is stored in their muscle tissue which is what gives the flesh a red color (sockeye are the reddest as they eat almost exclusively krill in the ocean). As they hit freshwater to spawn the carotenoid pigment is pulled out of the muscle tissue into the skin...hence the red coloring. Those who catch well colored up salmon will notice the flesh is much paler than a chromer.

    My guess is this is what happens with the dollies too. And it makes sense that the northern dollies get much more red while the southern dollies generally are more orange in their spawning colors. The northern strain lives at sea part of their life giving them more access to crustaceans while the southern dollies are only rarely ocean going.

    I remember a small spring pond by my grandfather's place in Utah. It was stocked yearly with "regular" rainbows whose diet was almost exclusively freshwater shrimp. Within a few months these fish were intensely red all over.

    There is also a chinook in Alaska referred to as "white kings". Their flesh is absolutely white all the time. This has been found to be due to a genetic trait which doesn't let them process the carotenoids so it doesn't collect in their tissue. There's a big niche market for them in Alaska as they supposedly taste more "delicate". Years ago they were considered to be inferior......go figure.

    Brian
     
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  11. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

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    Thanks Brian for explaining the "White King Salmon"! When I lived in Seattle was the first time I ever saw or even heard of such a thing! They had them in the fish markets at a premium price. I tried it and wasn't impressed, I preferred regular Kings MUCH more! Nobody there could explain why they had white flesh though! Kinda looked like Halibut.

    ~S
     
  12. Lance.G

    Lance.G Active Member

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    What type of char is this one? I found this on google one day and love the look but I don’t know exactly what it is.

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Nearly all charr I have seen that color are arctic charr (salvelinus alpinus.....of which there are at least 3 subspecies). Never seen a dolly with that much orange throughout their entire body.
     
  14. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member


    Interesting stuff Brian. I am adding astaxanthin powder hydrated in hotwater to the feed I feed my trout. This is to bring out the reds and oranges in them especially the brook trout. Here is what a domestic brook trout that is normally bland will look like after a couple of months of feed enhanced with astaxanthin and in the fall. Allegedly the astaxathin is beneficial to them too.

    [​IMG]

    Was getting it from a supplier until they specified a minimum of a couple of tons of feed per order. Found another supplier that would sell me only a few bags at a time, but it was shipped UPS only, and the shipping was more expensive than the feed. I since have found a pet food supplier on line I can buy several months worth of the powder to add to the feed for about $50.00. 35 to 45 ppm of powder which ones out to about a ratio of 500:1 feed to the powder weight wise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  15. Lance.G

    Lance.G Active Member

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    Cool thanks
     
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  16. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    Does this also effect the darker colors making them a deeper shade
    I notice this in cecils fish
     
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. I have brook trout in the pond right now that are fairly light with very distinct vermiculations, but are becoming very bright red on the lower flanks. Ironically the females are resisting any color changes with some quite silvery although their flesh is probably red. The carotene or carotene like pigments have to be there but spawning time really makes them pop.
     
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  18. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    Cool Cecil
    the more I dig in this the better it gets
     
  19. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    I just showed these 2 fish to my wife. Not the outdoorsy type. After 37 yrs, she still refers to a crappie as a "chubby". :rolleyes:
    She commented "with all the ugliness in this world, Thank God we still have beautiful things like those".
    I think she nailed it.
    Fish are some of Gods best work.
     
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