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"Super Trout"


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Saw this in the KC Star the other day. Sounds pretty interesting, but why? I can't even imagine where someone would even come up with something like this. I would like to hear everyones thoughts on this issue. I think it is one of the craziest things I have heard of in the fishing industry. I know, that it would be way to expensive to even think about trying to do this in most places. I have used creatine during my running, weightlifting days and it does, work, but giving it to a fish, crazy. I just can't imagine that it making a trout fight that much harder?

Meet Super Trout

Researchers at MU are building fish that are lean, mean fighting machines — thanks to a little boost from creatine

By BRENT FRAZEE

The Kansas City Star

Imagine going to your favorite trout stream and being able to tangle with a “super fish” — a muscle-bound rainbow that has amazing strength and endurance.

Now imagine how that fish got that way — by taking creatine, the same performance-enhancing supplement Mark McGwire used on the way to breaking baseball’s then-single-season home-run record in 1998. A far-fetched scenario, you say? Not in the eyes of researchers at the University of Missouri.

For more than a year, MU professors have been experimenting with feeding rainbow trout a diet supplemented with 5 percent creatine, which is used by athletes to increase muscle mass and endurance and recover more quickly from injuries.

The results have been striking. Preliminary findings indicated that some of the trout taking the creatine — a naturally occurring amino acid, not a steroid or a hormone — showed a five-fold increase in their stamina, measured by the length of time they were able to swim against a controlled current.

The day when that might translate to better fishing is still a long way off. The federal government does not approve creatine in fish that are to be consumed by humans, though the substance is legally sold over the counter as a supplement.

But researchers haven’t ruled out the possibility that the substance — if proved safe, effective and economically feasible — might one day change the face of fishing for some species.

“There would be a lot of marketability for harder-fighting fish,” said Rob Hayward, a fisheries professor at MU who is involved in the study. “Fishermen probably would pay a premium for a chance of catching fish that fought longer and harder.

“Fee-fishing operations could market that they had harder-fighting fish, and they could gain some business.”

Alicia Amyx, part of the family that has operated the Rainbow Trout Ranch fee-fishing operation near Rockbridge, Mo., since 1954, agreed that it could present new possibilities.

“I’m sure it would be attractive to some of our fishermen, having harder-fighting trout,” she said. “Trout 2 pounds and up fight hard enough. We hear a lot of stories about the one that got away. To have a trout that fought even harder could be exciting.

“But before we even considered using something like creatine, we would have to make sure it was safe (to consume) on a long-term basis. We’re careful that our fish are natural and of high quality. We wouldn’t want to jeopardize that in any way.”

But the gains wouldn’t necessarily be confined to freshwater fish. The benefits of creatine also could extend to saltwater fish, Hayward said.

“The big thing now is open-ocean aquaculture, in which fish are raised in large cages as far as 200 miles off shore,” Hayward said. “By supplementing the diet of those fish with creatine, they might grow stronger and be able to withstand stronger currents.”

Hayward emphasizes that the study is still in its preliminary stages. But early returns have opened some eyes.

Creatine was first used by MU researchers in research with pigs to see whether it could improve the quality of pork.

Hayward and animal-sciences professor Eric Berg later decided to test the substance to see whether it could improve muscle growth in fish.

To test the fish’s swimming stamina, they used a Plexiglas swim tube in which the current could be regulated.

“In effect, it’s like a treadmill,” Hayward said. “We can adjust the flow rate and see how the fish react.”

Hayward and Berg, aided by undergraduate researchers Amber Wiewel and Kyle Winders, also tested creatine’s effects on bluegills, but the results were not profound.

“Bluegills are relatively sedentary and are reluctant to swim, so differences weren’t pronounced,” Hayward said.

But the researchers found good subjects in the trout, which are current-oriented fish. Now they are thinking of testing other species, including the closely related salmon.

“We can’t say if this will ever have any application to fishing or aquaculture,” Hayward said. “We are just providing the science.

“But it does provide some interesting possibilities.”

"He told us about Christ's disciples being fisherman, and we were left to assume...that all great fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fisherman and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman." - Norman Maclean-A River Runs Through It

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  • Root Admin

Pump them up and they may someday fight as hard as a smallie or white bass!

Sign of the times.

One thought- wouldn't they need more food thus creating a management issue for all Missouri trout waters? They wouldn't grow any faster (?) but would eat more so at least on Taney MDC would have to stock less trout. Would have to lower the limit- again :(

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