Submitted by Ted Williams on Sun, 05/13/2007 - 14:42.
I’d say more like “grotesque.” Not to criticize F&S, which is publishing some great conservation stuff these days. And I don't agree with the poster on the site that running photos of Frankenstein fish, which the mag properly IDs as "bastards," is "promoting" them. But…It strikes me as tragic that anglers have been conditioned by the management establishment to relish Frankenstein fish -- pigment-impoverished mutants and weird hybrids that keep the hatchery bureaucracy in business because they have to be concocted from genetically twisted stock or from species so divergent they're likely to produce sterile offspring. It's expecting a lot of anglers who read the hype about “tiger trout,” "albino rainbows," "saugeyes," "splake," "tiger muskies," and "wipers" to worry about rainbow genes showing up in, say, Paiute cutts. Recently I found myself in the mountains of West Virginia, inspecting acid-mine damage to brook trout habitat for FlyRod&Reel. I came away encouraged, not only by the remarkable progress being made in bringing dead water back to life with innovative lime treatments, but by the many pristine streams that still teem with these gaudy little natives. West Virginia's brook trout are a national treasure that should be promoted like California's redwoods or Minnesota's timber wolves. But the official patch of the state's Department of Natural Resources features a white-tailed deer, a cardinal, and a rainbow trout—native to the Pacific Northwest. This fish—called a West Virginia Centennial Golden Trout—is a pigment-impoverished mutant that turned up in a hatchery in 1954 and has been cultured ever since. It's so popular that Pennsylvania borrowed the warped genes to concoct what it calls its “palomino trout.” To me they’re ever bit as beautiful as those genetically manipulated, furless cats. www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstream/photogallery/article/0,13355,1604024_0,00.html