Step 2: The Fish I Catch
Hornyhead chubs mainly inhabit small rivers and streams. The range of this fish is the northern central USA, up into Canada. The adults inhabit faster, rocky pools of rivers. The adults usually 6 to 8 inches have a red to yellow belly and little horns on top of head. I have caught these up to 10 inches in the rivers around my home.
The Horneyhead Chub near my home have two rows of horns just above the eyes giving them there name. These are a very good eating fish and they have twice the meat of a trout the same size and they are a good survival food.
Common Creek Chub
Common Creek Chub is found in the eastern two-thirds of the US and eastern Canada. It inhabits small streams and very small rivers. The average chub ranges in size from 5-7 inches in length; I have caught these as large as 8 inches in the rivers around my home. They can be identified by the black stripe on their sides, along with a black dot on their dorsal fin. Additionally, juvenile males develop a rosy band on their side, along with glossy, dark dorsal fin spots and are sometimes called Rainbow Chub. Although not as big as a Horneyhead Chub they have twice the meat of a trout the same size and they are a good survival food.
During the breeding season males get small keratin based bumps, each of which is called a tubercle, on their head which are used in ritualized combat.
These get up to six inches in the rivers around my home I have never eaten one. These fish have a unique way of laying there eggs, they have sex and the female then deposits the eggs in fresh water mussels.
Like I said the fish are small near to where I live most of the trout are 8 to 12 inches during the open season, we call these pan-fries. Two weeks prior to Trout season opening I spotted dozens of trout in this same river as large as 20 inches. Most of the larger trout have spawned and headed for deeper cooler water for the summer. The only trout open year round near my home are Lake Trout and Splake.
This is the largest trout I caught on this day, probably a late spawn that did not leave the river yet, it is a sixteen inch Speckled Trout. Some of the trout this size will remain in deep pools in the rivers into the summer when the water gets to warm they head for deep water. A Brook Trout this size is considered a trophy fish by many people.
Other than pan-fries Rainbow Trout only come to these streams to spawn and then return to the lakes they came from. The fries may stay in the rivers for a couple years. Rainbow Trout this size will be leaving the rivers soon. You can tell them from young Speckled Trout by the rosy band on their side.
Small Mouth Bass
This is the second and third good size fish I caught unfortunately bass season does not open until late June so I had to return them to the river. There are over 100 different species of fish open year round where I live, this makes keeping a fish during the closed season unnecessary unless you are survival fishing.