I guess I did kind of lump stocked, wild/holdover, and native trout together when asking why trout are so revered. While they might be the same species, they're completely different animals in a sense. And I really hadn't thought about it from the point of view of those fishermen who just prefer trout to other species. Not sure why. I grew up fishing for bass almost exclusively and I know people who fish for crappie or catfish almost exclusively. I think maybe it's just a difference in the way people talk about these different species that's got me hung up.
After some reading, I think what I've been seeing are injuries from the raceways and maybe fin clipping and not genetic deformities. Lots of missing pectoral fins and gill plates that look worn away, exposing the gills. Glad you and others brought it up. I think MDC does a good job overall and hated to think they were perpetuating bad genes.
I haven't seen any deformities coming out of Roaring River, curios where you are seeing this and which hatchery?
Wonder if they are healed injuries?
Thanks, guys. I've got a lot to learn about trout.