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Pond Trout Meat Colour
#534493 04/28/21 10:49 AM
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Hello everyone,

I've noticed in my pond over the four years I have had trout, the meat colour of the trout has gone from bright orange (considered ideal) to very white, similar to bass (considered less ideal). This happened before I switched from natural diet only to pellet feeding. I know meat colour is largely cosmetic only, but it is nice to have bright red or orange trout meat instead of it having a paler colour.

Here is what my trout meat used to look like.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Here is what it now looks like.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Here is what a natural trout's meat looks like that I caught in a local river (these are migratory trout (steelhead)).

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Would anyone be willing to share what their trout's meat looks like, whether they are pellet fed or natural? I think it will be interesting to see the variation in colour.

Last edited by Fyfer123; 04/28/21 12:59 PM.

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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534515 04/28/21 06:49 PM
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Get astaxanthin and add it to the feed, or try and get feed that has that added to it. That will turn the flesh orange.


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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534523 04/28/21 10:32 PM
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My RBT are pellet fed and have whitish meat. Quite good table fare, though. The same is true for my other pellet fed fish.

Last edited by anthropic; 04/28/21 10:39 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 207



Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
esshup #534573 04/29/21 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Get astaxanthin and add it to the feed, or try and get feed that has that added to it. That will turn the flesh orange.
I'm not sure if I'm able to get that, but I am wondering why the trout meat was naturally very nice and orange and then became white?

I wonder if it is due to the bass in the pond. Before the bass, the trout might have had a vastly different diet. I would like to get the meat back to that nice colour naturally if I can. I will see if culling all of the bass possible will have an effect on the meat colour. Thanks for the reply.


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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
anthropic #534574 04/29/21 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
My RBT are pellet fed and have whitish meat. Quite good table fare, though. The same is true for my other pellet fed fish.
I find the white meat tastes perfectly fine, but the nice orange is more desirable when it comes to trout, if anything just cosmetically. It is interesting how the meat colour changed as you can see in the photos. I would like to get it back to the first photo if possible.


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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534582 04/29/21 06:25 PM
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the color in the flesh of the trout comes from their diet. The yellow/orange/pink color are in the group of chemicals called carotenoids (reason why your skin will turn orange if you eat too many carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.)

The critters that trout eat that add the carotenoids are usually from the crustacean family (freshwater shrimp, crayfish, etc) but below that the phytoplankton/diatoms also are sources of food for the larger crustaceans and also produce the carotenoids.

I'd like to read more about scuds to see if they add coloring to the flesh of trout. I know trout eat those when present (think the high altitude pond of wbuffetJR for example) He probably knows what color the flesh on his trout are?

You can probably influence the larger crustacean content of your pond by stocking more scuds/snails/bivalves/molluscs/freshwater shrimp or crayfish but not sure you can control the types of phytoplankton in your pond.


Keep us posted!

Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534583 04/29/21 06:29 PM
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I found this series of articles online and I think it is very helpful. It suggests you could even feed ground up shrimp and achieve what you wanted!

Getting the desired orange color again?

Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534586 04/29/21 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Fyfer123
Originally Posted by anthropic
My RBT are pellet fed and have whitish meat. Quite good table fare, though. The same is true for my other pellet fed fish.
I find the white meat tastes perfectly fine, but the nice orange is more desirable when it comes to trout, if anything just cosmetically. It is interesting how the meat colour changed as you can see in the photos. I would like to get it back to the first photo if possible.

Understandable, for sure. We eat with our eyes as well as our nose and mouth!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 207



Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
canyoncreek #534615 04/30/21 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
I found this series of articles online and I think it is very helpful. It suggests you could even feed ground up shrimp and achieve what you wanted!

Getting the desired orange color again?
Thanks for that great link.

I think it has allowed me to understand why the meat colour in my pond naturally went from orange to white. I believe the orange or red colour comes from the trout eating other fish as well as shrimp and crustaceans as you mentioned. This aligns with the nice colour of the Steelhead in my area, which spend time eating fish and larger prey compared to most trout while living in the cold lake. My trout used to have that orange colour due to eating the minnows in the pond and the crayfish we had, is my guess. When the bass were added (not by me and not on purpose), they overpowered the trout in terms of feeding due to their numbers, and ate most of the minnows and crayfish, leaving other food for the trout, such as those isopods I mentioned in another post that Bill identified. My guess is those isopods do not lead to the desired meat colour.

I really like the idea of feeding shrimp as a natural way to change the meat colour. I will look into how I can get some cheap bulk shrimp to feed as a supplement to the regular pellet diet.

Thanks again, and I will keep everyone posted on how I try to move forward with this.


Adam

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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534672 05/01/21 08:11 PM
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astaxanthin is also sold as a vitamin supplement. You can get it from ebay or maybe from the local vitamin store (here in the states that would be one like GNC).


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
esshup #534707 05/03/21 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by esshup
astaxanthin is also sold as a vitamin supplement. You can get it from ebay or maybe from the local vitamin store (here in the states that would be one like GNC).

Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to try looking for some shrimp to buy. That seems like an ideal solution which is more natural.


Adam

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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #534972 05/09/21 06:34 PM
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Here is an update.

I caught this nice brown from the pond yesterday on a worm. When I filleted her, I was surprised at the nice colour of her meat. It was not pale like some of the other trout I had caught recently. She did not have any pellets in her stomach, only bugs and isopods. I wonder if she was eating pellets before, as I was not able to feed for a few days before I caught her. Either way, strange that different fish from the same pond have such different meat quality.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co][Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Last edited by Fyfer123; 05/09/21 06:36 PM.

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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #535100 05/12/21 07:37 AM
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I caught another very aggressive trout yesterday. She jumped clean out of the water when I was reeling my worm in to try and grab it. The fish was clean looking and not too dark like the males in the pond. I expected meat like the one in the previous picture. However, I was suprised to see a very pale colour.

This leads me to two questions.

1) Is it likely that some fish in the pond are NOT eating the pellets? I definitely see lots of trout eating, bit maybe some have not figured it out yet.

2) Do pellets quickly break up in the stomach of the fish. She had lots of fine "guck" in her stomach, but no defined pellets. Are those likely pellets? If so, I believe the pellet fed fish do have a less natural flesh colour.

Thanks.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co][Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Last edited by Fyfer123; 05/12/21 07:42 AM.

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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #535101 05/12/21 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Fyfer123
2) Do pellets quickly break up in the stomach of the fish. She had lots of fine "guck" in her stomach, but no defined pellets. Are those likely pellets?
I haven't ever fed trout, but IME with sunfish and bass, what goes in as pellets is clearly identifiable as former pellets when it comes out. Pellet poop is the same color as pellets.


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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #535104 05/12/21 08:51 AM
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Adam, my winter/spring RBT mostly focus on pellets & seem to have fairly pale flesh, similar to your pic.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 207



Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Theo Gallus #535140 05/13/21 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Originally Posted by Fyfer123
2) Do pellets quickly break up in the stomach of the fish. She had lots of fine "guck" in her stomach, but no defined pellets. Are those likely pellets?
I haven't ever fed trout, but IME with sunfish and bass, what goes in as pellets is clearly identifiable as former pellets when it comes out. Pellet poop is the same color as pellets.
I have a feeling the trout I am still catching are not eating the pellets, as I am fishing in the opposite area of where I am feeding, and the fish seem aggressive. When I fish closer to the feeding area (I never fish too near to prevent feeding hesitancy), I don't get any bites. The trout I am catching still seem thin. I would like to have them much larger on pellets, and my assumption is the ones eating pellets are getting pretty big.


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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
anthropic #535141 05/13/21 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
Adam, my winter/spring RBT mostly focus on pellets & seem to have fairly pale flesh, similar to your pic.
I guess they must feed the supplement astaxanthin at fish farms? You don't usually see pale trout fillets at large grocery stores, as least not here.


Adam

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Re: Pond Trout Meat Colour
Fyfer123 #535150 05/13/21 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Fyfer123
Originally Posted by anthropic
Adam, my winter/spring RBT mostly focus on pellets & seem to have fairly pale flesh, similar to your pic.
I guess they must feed the supplement astaxanthin at fish farms? You don't usually see pale trout fillets at large grocery stores, as least not here.

That sounds plausible. I doubt it affects meat quality much, but does look more appetizing.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 207




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