Remember that big hog we caught last weekend? Well, it was a bit of a puzzler... after we filletted the fish, we tried to find out if it was a male or female.
As we cut up fish, the little kids always crowd around and chime "was it a mommy or a daddy fish?" Its always fun to look for eggs or milk, and it seems very important for the kids.
Well, we couldn't find eggs OR milk in the fish! This is the first time we've encountered this... was it a male or female???!!!???
Here's the guts... can you tell?
Well, we decided to ask the experts - there is a FANTASTIC forum on the internet for all-things hunting and fishing... www.ifish.net.
We asked the experts, and within a day had several very good reponses. Here is an example:
"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. ...
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."
You can read the entire thread here: http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=264159