Science 19(492): 867-868 (1904)
ALBINO BROOK TROUT
C. R. Pettis
FOREST, FISH AND GAME COMMISSION, ALBANY, N. Y.,
April 15, 1904.
AMONG the brook trout hatched at the Adirondack Hatchery, Saranac Inn, N. Y., in March, 1902, there appeared to be some distinct albinos. There were about fifty of these fry out of an entire hatching of 800,000 ordinary brook trout eggs, taken from both wild and confined trout. These albinos were put by themselves, and four reached maturity.
Two of them are typical albinos. They are the same in outline as the ordinary brook trout. The skin is white, mottled with an ochraceous yellow, colored with the typical red and yellow spots. The fins are white, with the red band and yellow mottling. Eyes red. The general appearance of the fish is delicate, and the bones are apparently visible through the seemingly transparent skin. As these fish were reared in captivity they have been confined to the ordinary fish races, and fed on ground liver. One is a male, the other a female. The former now measures seven inches in length; the latter, nine inches.
The other two fish are a grayish white, with dark fins and black eyes.
On November 10, 1903, when the two albinos were twenty months old, they were stripped for eggs and fertilization. At this time their combined weight was approximately one half pound, the female being much the larger. Mr. G. E. Winchester, foreman of the Fish Hatchery, made the following experiments in fertilization: viz., first cross, 527 eggs from female albino x albino male; second cross, 103 eggs from female albino x natural male; third cross, 424 eggs from natural female x albino male.
The eggs, after fertilization, were placed in the hatchery races the same as all brook trout eggs. The hatching began March 1, 1904, and continued until the thirteenth of the month, the period of incubation being the same as that of the ordinary brook trout egg.
The result of the hatching was as follows: From the first cross 32 hatched, or approximately 8 per cent; from the second cross 43 hatched, or approximately 42 per cent.; from the third cross 416 hatched, or approximately 98 per cent.
At the present time—one month after all the fish were hatched—the following number is living: from the first cross 20, or 62 per cent.; from the second cross none; from the third cross all, or 100 per cent.
The weakness of the pure albinos is indicated by the fact that only 8 per cent. of the eggs proved fertile, and several of these are not perfect fish. Yet, they have the characteristics of the albino parents.
Of the fry from the second cross 42 per cent, hatched; but none were alive at the end of one month. Some of them were imperfect in form, and were colored more like the natural male parent, but not entirely so.
From the third cross all the eggs were fertile except eight—a loss of but two per cent.—and all are living at the end of thirty days. There are practically no cripples, and the coloring is typical of the natural female parent.
The silver gray albinos did not spawn. They have the appearance of barren fish.
These fish were exhibited by this department at the New York state fair last fall and attracted much attention.