The Countryman's Weekly


December 13
08:00 2017

WEB6-13-12-17When is a sardine not a sardine? When it’s a Pilchard!

By Paul Quagliana.

I DON’T know about you but I have fond memories of the often derided school dinners – they were pretty damn good. There was a hot counter and a cold counter at my school and if you kept your head down and were quick you could get a meal from each without being spotted as only one choice was allowed.

Among the cold selection was invariably a tray of pilchards disgorged from their tins in tomato sauce which didn’t quite go with pork gala pie – you know, the one with the hard-boiled egg in the middle.

Well, for years as a child and teenager growing up with fishing I thought pilchards and sardines were a separate species, as I did with sea trout and brown trout. However, as I am sure experienced anglers know, a sea trout is genetically the same as a brownie but goes to sea.

The equivalent in the USA is the steelhead, which is a rainbow trout that has done the same thing. There seems to be quite a lot of confusion and peculiarities in the fish world, as well as the animal world.




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