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Old 08-17-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
tear-a-bite
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Default A bit confused about our big King

My son caught a beautiful 30lb king this weekend near the astoria bridge. beautiful and bright, apparently ready to head upstream soon.

here is my question - when we filletted it, it had no apparent sex 'organs' in its cavity. all the other fish had eggs or milk, but this one didn't have anything that would identify it as a male or female inside.

anyone seen this before? i took a picture of the guts and can post it if it helps.

thanks

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Team Guts-R-Us ready and willing to make a diagnosis.

http://www.ifish.net/board/showthrea...23#post2684323

Fire away with the pic!
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

What Doc said...would like to see the pic.

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

If it was an upriver bright, male, the milt sacs would have been small and pinkish and indistinct in comparison to a riper lower river fish. Much like a springer would have. It's also possible, not likely, but possible, it was just a HUGE feeder fish, and would have gone back to sea on the next tide and come back in next year. Not likely, but possible.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Would have to agree... dip-in vs springer vs BOTH!

CanyonMan knows exactly what I'm talkin' bout.

The fish missing the nose on the left was the first 2005 springer caught in the CR. For the record, it was caught in August of 2004!

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Old 08-18-2009, 07:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Maybe it was a big jack.


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Old 08-18-2009, 07:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

great input - thanks! here is a photo - sorry it has to be small. i think you are right, CKthumper, it is probably an URB. the organs up by my finger looked like they could develop milk.

i'll pass along to my son it might have been a jack - he was pretty proud of that fish

thanks again!
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Quote:
Originally Posted by tear-a-bite View Post
great input - thanks! here is a photo - sorry it has to be small. i think you are right, CKthumper, it is probably an URB. the organs up by my finger looked like they could develop milk.

i'll pass along to my son it might have been a jack - he was pretty proud of that fish

thanks again!
Any other angles of the pic?

Keith
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlhdr1 View Post
Any other angles of the pic?

Keith
just from the outside if him
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

The organ just in front of his thumb appears to be a blood-stained testicle (milt sac). Never seen one quite that dark before.

Curious.... did you guys bleed that fish before it went into the box?
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

From the size of the milt sacks (yes, I think those are underdeveloped milt sacks) and the color of the meat, I'm guessing late summer chinook.

Hey Eyefish, I think you caught the last springer of '04, not the first springer of '05...

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Old 08-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

It's clearly a buck,and yes, the organs below the thumb are immature milt sacs. The fish is, in my estimation, a very large feeder fish that would probably have returned to spawn next year. A very similar thing happened 10 years or more back, when the Tacoma News-Tribune and other Seatle-area media reported that a fish that most area fishermen considered to be a new Puget Sound blackmouth (aka sexually immature, "feeder" chinook salmon) record fish had been caught. It was caught during the winter, as most winter blackmouth are, near Jefferson Head, and when the guy held it up for his buddies in another boat to see, and they BOTH said they, "thought it was a cardboard cutout of a fish."

I cannot recall the exact weight of the fish, but I think it was 35 pounds or so,with totally undeveloped sexual organs. In other words, a feeder chinook. In that area a "big" blckmouth is from 12 to 15 pounds, and the majority of the fish are held in retention pens for longer than normal, which prevents them from wanting to migrate out to sea, keeping the fish in the SOund for their entire lives, so that something like a quarter million "blackmouth" ar caught each year.

Did your fish have a silver lower jawline on the outside? Once a chinook's lower jawline turns from silver to black, biologists say the fish is no longer "bright", and that the turning of the jawline to black marks the beginning stage of a chinook's spawning migration,and this usually happens in saltwater, not in the river. [Bright as defined by biologists is NOT the same as we fishermen define "bright"; the bilogical definition has much more to do with sexual maturity,rather than scale color th eway we fishermen characterize a 'bright' chinook']

SO, if your fish had a silver-colored outside lower jawline, AND his milt sacs were as undeveloped as they were shown in your photo, my feeling is that the fish was an exceptionally large "feeder chinook"; who knows, maybe he was destined to be a Wilson River winter chinook, or a fish that would have spawned in 2010 as a 51 pounder or something like that.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Interesting! Thanks, Derrel!
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

thanks everybody for the input - it is GREAT the amount of info to learn on ifish - my kids will think i'm a genius as i inform them on so many topics while we sit on-anchor.

here's a closer shot of the lower jaw (the best one i had). it does sound to me like a feeder fish - 30 lbs is a big feeder! i'll tell my son we should have released him to grow another year...

he had a chip in his head, so i'm eager to hear back from WDFW on where he came from.

thanks again everyone!
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

I believe this is just a typical urb bright, very fresh in. I have seen milt sacs like that a few times before and although slightly underdeveloped look quite normal (although a little darker) to me.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:19 AM   #16
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Default Re: A bit confused about our big King

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon Man View Post
I believe this is just a typical urb bright, very fresh in. I have seen milt sacs like that a few times before and although slightly underdeveloped look quite normal (although a little darker) to me.
After seeing this latest pic, I agree. URB all the way.

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