horse help

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absentx
horse help
<p>So I posted a few redhorse in our Namekagon trip expedition thread that we weren&#39;t real sure about ID-wise. It&#39;s a long report to wade through just for some ID&#39;s so I figured I would post them here for the indentification discussion.</p> <p>I think we are just talking between greater and river here. I&#39;ll put what I know above each pic:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Okay here is the first. This is a 21 inch fish. I am calling it a greater, but the top lobe of the tail fin is damn pointy. I have no further pictures of this one that might help with ID!</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh588/absentx/6d7705aa.jpg" style="width: 650px; height: 488px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here is a real beauty. I think this is a 22 inch fish. I say Greater.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh588/absentx/e0f65c8d.jpg" style="width: 650px; height: 488px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This was a 24 incher. Hog. I don&#39;t have a solid guess on this one, beautiful Greater or River either way!</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh588/absentx/a7a7b511.jpg" style="width: 650px; height: 488px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Then this behemoth. 26 inches. Initially thought Greater all day...head shape and tail makes me question, but ultimately these two species are kind of tough to tell apart...or maybe I am just not there yet.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh588/absentx/36ddcb91.jpg" style="width: 650px; height: 488px;" /></p> <p>And a picture of the big ones dorsal fin</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh588/absentx/21bcd994.jpg" style="width: 650px; height: 488px;" /></p>
Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
All River Redhorse

All River Redhorse

absentx
Wow really?? What is the give
Wow really?? What is the give away in each? Head shape? Tail fin? Honestly every single one has a real pointy tail..
Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
Looked at alot of redhorse

Looked at alot of redhorse over the years man.  After you look at a bunch, you just know after a while.

roughfish29
roughfish29's picture
What doc said.

What doc said. I'm not claiming to be a seasoned expert or anything, but it becomes easier after a while. The more time you spend on this site helps alot too....

 

But if you wanna get technical, it's the shape of the head, tail, lips, and even the number of scales on the fish that are the "official" way to identify.

 

Sweet fish by the way! River Reds are one of my favorite species.

Outdoors4life
Outdoors4life's picture
Another thing is that Rivers

Another thing is that Rivers and Greaters do not play well together!

 

Normally you do not find them in the same stretch of river unless it is larger like the lower croix. Some areas are made for Greaters and others are for Rivers.

It is all perspective!

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TonyS
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In regards to habitat -

In regards to habitat - Greaters are likely to be found farther upstream into the headwaters and feeders than Rivers.  I have caught Rivers and Greaters in the same spot before but not often.  Greaters just (generally) prefer smaller waterbodies.

 

But yes - all look to be Rivers to me.  It is tough until you've seen both numerous times.

Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
Also, the two species were

Also, the two species were probably common together before dams came along.  I think dams have caused the River Redhorse to just die out of areas, or be out competed by Greaters or other species of redhorse. 

absentx
Excellent stuff to know.

Excellent stuff to know.

Don't get me wrong, I have all the identifying factors between the two down, but when the time actually comes to tell them apart when I am out fishing, I still see both of them as giant, beautiful and with nice red fins.

I just wish there was something like "The river always has X dorsal fin rays whereas the Greaters has Y dorsal fin rays" but they overlap! Both could have 13 or 14 etc...

Looking at all the pictures now, the defining thing to me for each of them is the pointy top lobe of the tail fin.

Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
And if you look at all the

And if you look at all the lifelist pictures on this site of the two species, you can see that the upper portion of the tail fin is indeed a good, rough start to a way of identifying them.  There are scale counts you can do in the field across the caudal penduncle too.   Or you could macro style photograph this area too.  But general apperance will most of the time give you your answer...

BlueEye
BlueEye's picture
Greaters always have

Greaters always have distinctly symetrical lobes and a convex, fan shaped dorsal.

Rivers always have a distinctly pointed upper lobe and a concave, inward dorsal thats sorta pointed at the top. You can usually tell right away just by looking at the dorsal. You can see at a glance in all these shots that they have concave dorsals, even when they're not "flexing" their fins.

Tyler W
Tyler W's picture
Head shape

The first thing I look at is head shape. Rivers have a much longer head with a flattened nose (pictures 2 and 4 are good examples). Nice fish. I love the gold color on the 22" river.