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How much if any of a fight difference do you notice between wild fish versus hatchery?

I can accept time of year as one point, i.e. with the water this cold the fish are sluggish! When the water temp. is above 40* they are more aggressive and fight stronger.

I can also accept that certain systems have more aggressive fish as they are fresh out of the chuk. So lets limit this to river fish and for that matter, Steelhead only...

The best fight I ever had with a steelhead was a wild buck that went around 15lbs and took me 20 minutes and multiple runs to land...I have also seen though the odd wild one come in quickly but nothing like some of the hatcherys I've landed...

Just thought it would interesting to hear what others have to say on this topic for a boring monday evening!!!
 

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i think it all depends on the fish itself. My dad got a nice hatch this past sunday and it was out of the water about 6/7 times. we thought it was going to be wild from the fight but it wasnt. I have had some sluggish ones on both sides on the fence. I have found when you find fish in spots where they might have been sitting for a day or more, they tend to be very aggressive and fight hard :thumbup: :thumbup: and i think thats what his was like. there had been noone by this spot before us and it was 11am :confused: (you can tell because no foot prints in the snow) and i got mine which fought pretty good for being only around 7lbs right behind a guy that had just been fishing there. he had just packed to leave took a few steps away and i yelled fish on ( i wasnt right where he was but only upriver a bit) Wish we were able to get the hatrick with there being 3 of us yesterday.
 

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it depends on the water you hook them in as well... if they just came up from heavy water they are sometimes sluggish whether they are hatchery or wild... generally my wild fish have fought better... but some hatcheries have fought better than any of the wilds
 

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So if we are talking lowermainland steelhead, what fish are really hatch fish? Just because they have a adipose fin does not mean they are wild.

now I know there are some somewhat wild fish in the vedder, but really they are all tampered genetically.

now I have caught PURE STRAIN steelhead from "OTHER" rivers ELSEWHERE in B.C. and there is a difference, but I have caught "WET RAGS" in true pure strain wild fish too.

I have caught hatch fish that have fought like the devil, and I have caught "UNCLIPPED" fish that fought like a paperbag.

so of the hatch fish that I did catch this year in the vedder they all fought good, actually really good.

but the water was in the 40's......now the water is in the 30's its a really different story.

:2cents:
 

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I personally have found that wild winter steelhead located in non-augmented river systems fight way harder than any hatchery fish. Hooked into a couple pure wild steelies last Friday on a local flow with water temps hoovering around 2 degrees and the fights were incredible!
 

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I've noticed that hatchery fish are missing a fin on there backs and wild ones are not ;D other than that they're about the same. You just never know every fish is different.


Hotrod
 

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After surviving in the same ocean and being of identical genetics, wild brood hatchery fish are no different than the wild* steelhead in our local rivers. As for a local river with pure wild fish, ya might wanna get the real stocking histories before you claim that one.

I find fresh fish to be the hardest fighting and usually can tell a fish that has been caught before just from the fight. As for hatch vs wild, sometimes it is only a matter of whether the fish you catch is on a continous run up river or has rested for a few days, regardless of adiose fin. Alot depends on type of water where you catch them, I prefer pocket water and in those places a battle is usually rather extreme, as compared to a long slow drift.

I do know that my friends from Washington who catch our local hatchery fish, have no complaints about their fight and claim they are nothing like the pellet head hatchery bananas they get.

Without the hatcheries we'd be crying about the fishing no doubts.
 

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I believe it is difficult at best to pinpoint the reason a fish fights well or not based on whether it is hatchery or wild. There are so many variables which are key factors to the fishes energy level at the time of being caught. Many here have touched on this already.

Personally, I feel some reassurance when finding "wild" fish in any system. Even though the gene pools in most hatchery augmented systems must be diluted, I don't think the difference is significant, yet. A percentage of the wild fish we catch are still pure I'd bet.

By scientific standards, we might not observe any significant change in twenty years or more, and then who knows? Only time will tell whether or not hatchery and wild interaction might affect the fight of our "wild" fish.

To answer xgolfman's question, I do feel wild fish have the potential to fight harder than hatchery fish, but that it is more dependant on whether that fish is "fresh" or not, as someone so aptly put it. If a fish hasn't been hooked and fought recently that will determine the quality of their fight.

On a river like the vedder, some fish are hooked multiple times in a day, week or the season and inevitably this will lead to some tired fights.

On non augmented rivers, we find wild fish and they tend to fight tremendously. Is this more because they might never have been hooked before, are rested and unharrassed...? I think so. Sometimes we find hatchery fish that are fresh, and fight like champions. For me I'd bet 99% of the time the quality of the fish's fight is dependant on the circumstances and not the fish's origin.

Good question xgolf...

rib
 

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caught fin clipped hatchery steelhead in the Thompson, Squamish, Ashlu, Cheakamus, Mamquam, Capilano, Seymour, Chehalis, North & South Allouette, Chilliwack, Coquihalla, Cowichan, Stamp, Somass, Sproat, Little Q , Big Q, Englishman, Quinsam, Campbell, Gold, and Salmon just to a few. One thing in common with all of them, You didn't know if it was wild or hatchery until you looked for the missing fin. Time of year, river, water temp, moving or holding fish, that's more of what makes a differemce in the fight of the fish.
 

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Well,I haven,t cought many stealhead,but from what I did catch I can say that every fish fought diferrent.My opinion is that there is many diferrent factors that are in effect of how the fish will battle for its life.Many of these factors are already been said in the posts above,my experiance tells me that the fish that are cought closer to the salt water fought like crazy,speed, acrobaticts, everything she could possibly pull of,and fish that I cought that have been longer in the fresh water didn't really play the same show.I might bee wrong, but the prticular piece of water makes a big difference to,fish I cought in a pool where the flow was slow fish where slugish,pocket water and tailouts where totally a different story,fast water fish pilling line of like crazy.Every fish is different in its own way again,some more exosted some less,all my fish where wild, some of them did not put up a fight at all.No matter how they fight, searching for them,finding them and actualy making them slam your presentation makes a HELL of a ADRENALIN rush for me,hopfully I hook into some hatchery so I can maybe give proof of something diferent or not,goodluck to everyone :thumbup:
 

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jetboatjim said:
But , when they release hatchery FRY the only help they have is being hatched. the rest is up to nature.
If I'm not mistaken most of the hatchery steelhead are released at either 1 or 2 year smolts (up to 2 years in the hatchery) and once released there's a short period of imprinting time before most head off to the ocean
 

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I totally don't agree with the fact that people say that hatchery fish are more sluggish than wild. I know the best fight I have ever had with a steelhead has been a hatchery fish. I think it totally depends on the what the fish has gone through to get to where it is, along with water temperature and who knows maybe the fish has been hooked numerous times and has just got away. Anyway I am more than happen to catch a hatchery or wild. In fact over the last couple years I have yet to keep a hatchery fish or wild for that matter (so no one calls me a poacher!!!) anyway I think if u truly believe that wild are better fish then you should be heading to other rivers than the lowermainland and let the others that like catching hatchery fish fish the local rivers.
 

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in my expierience i have found they both fight about the same, i think many "hatch" end up not being clipped, especially coho season when you take a drive up to the hatchery and you see fish swimming around in the hatchery with a fin on
 
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