(Linnaeus, 1758); SALMONIDAE FAMILY;also called huchon, Danube salmon, Danube trout, sulec, mladica
Endemic to Europe, where it is restricted to the Danube River and its tributaries, and occasionally in lakes within the Danube basin. It also occurs in the basin of the Prut River. Introduced into other European rivers early in the 1900's, it was largely unsuccessful. In the Thames River in England it was established at least until the 1930's. Some believe it still exists there with a few being caught each year but misidentified as brown trout (Salmo trutta). Unlike the brown trout and the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), both of which the huchen resembles, it stays in the river systems and does not migrate to the sea.
Within Europe, it will not be confused with any species except the brown trout or the Atlantic salmon, which are also members of the Salmonidae family. The huchen can be identified by counting the scales along the lateral line. It has by far the smallest scales numbering 180 200 as compared to 110 120 in the brown trout (called sea trout in Europe), and 120 130 in the Atlantic salmon. It is completely covered with minute black speckles, but never has the red spots which may be present on the brown trout and Atlantic salmon.
This is a popular fish. Part of its popularity is due to the fact that it grows to at least 114 lb (52 kg), making it one of the largest species in the salmon family. A larger fish, also a subspecies of the genus Huch, the taimen, Hucho hucho taimen, reportedly grows to over 200 lb (91 kg).
Because it is relatively rare, it is not common food fish, nor is it as highly valued as other salmonids. However, it is of good quality and is certainly edible. In all of its range, the huchen is presently endangered by commercialization and habitat deterioration
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Current All Tackle Record
76 lbs. 11 ounces.