Trout, Northern Pike & Paddlefish
Rainbow trout are named for the pinkish band along their sides. Black spots cover the silvery flanks and the tail. The rainbow trout is not native in most rivers, streams and smaller impoundments in the central states, although they are stocked to provide a winter fishery. There are several places where trout do survive the summer. However, these populations are maintained through winter stocking, and generally most of the stocked fish are caught during the trout season. Trout are obtained from private, state and federal hatcheries.
Brown trout, sometimes called german brown trout have light brownish or yellowish flanks with black and orange spots, usually with lighter halos. The tail may have a few scattered spots near the top or none at all.
One of our most interesting fish, the paddlefish is a prehistoric remnant that is native to the larger rivers of the central states including the Missouri, Marais des Cygnes, Osage, Kansas, Neosho and Arkansas. Generally these fish only appear in the spring when they move upstream to spawn. They feed on plankton, and the only way to catch them is snagging.
The northern pike have greenish sides with rows of cream colored, bean shaped spots. The tips of the tail are usually rounded. It was stocked more widely in the late 1960s as a means of controlling panfish. The northern pike prefers clear, weedy water and the eggs must be laid on flooded plant material. Recently, several smaller lakes have received northern pike stockings. It is hoped that the toothy predators can help control panfish numbers as well as provide anglers with an exciting opportunity. Pike are also called jacks, pickeral or snakes.