Fur-Bearing Trout

The Fur-Bearing Trout is a species of fish that possesses a thick coat of fur to keep itself warm in the cold northern waters where it lives.

These furry fish are primarily found in the northern regions of North America — particularly in Canada, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The species is also sometimes referred to as the Beaver Trout, or (incorrectly) as the Sabled Salmon.

Several theories have arisen to explain this creature's luxuriant coat:

  • Some say that the creature evolved its thick coat to protect itself from the extreme cold of northern waters.
  • According to another lesser-known theory, this species of trout owes its fur to four jugs of hair tonic that were accidentally spilled into the Arkansas River (in Colorado) sometime during the 1870s.

A few researchers suggest that as the weather grows warmer during the spring the fur-bearing trout sheds its fur, only to regrow its coat as winter returns. This may help explain why trout with full coats of fur are so seldom encountered.

According to legend, the fur-bearing trout was first encountered by Europeans when Scottish settlers emigrated to Canada during the seventeenth century. One settler wrote home remarking about the abundance of "furried animals and fish" in the new land. Asked to provide more information about the furried fish, he duly sent home a specimen.

Fur-Bearing trouts mounted as trophies can be found hanging on walls throughout the Great Lakes region of North America.

Other fur-bearing aquatic animals
Other fur-bearing aquatic animals besides trout are sometimes encountered. For instance, fur-bearing crab are occasionally sold on eBay.

Also, a fur-bearing lobster (below - right) was found recently deep in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Easter Island. However, this species is not considered to be a tall-tale creature. It is a subject of mainstream scientific inquiry (seriously!).

More content from the Hoax Museum:


fur bearing trouts rock man
Posted by Anonymous  on  Sat Jul 21, 2001  at  01:59 PM

Nice site. My Dad sent it to me because I told him of the story I had read in college about fur bearing trout. He then sent me the picture of it from your site. Thanks.
Posted by Anonymous  on  Sat Mar 16, 2002  at  07:01 PM
My father stood the colorado fishing community on it's ears in 1950, by driving into Denver with a 47# "rainbow trout" strapped to a car's ski rack, making the first page of the Denver Post, Empire Magizine, and national wire of the Associated Press.
Posted by Anonymous  on  Tue Dec 31, 2002  at  07:47 PM
I once read that in addition to the hoax fish, there's an actual fur-bearing trout native to Michigan. It's not actually fur-bearing, of course, any more than the hairy frog is actually hairy, but the shape, texture and positioning of its scales is such that it appears to have a coat of short fur.
Posted by Michael Telford  on  Fri May 21, 2004  at  01:32 PM
I own a trout from The Slave Lake. it was a neat $45 dollars.
Posted by cameron  on  Mon May 31, 2004  at  07:12 PM
what is under the fur is it scales of skin or ??What
Posted by jeff  on  Wed Aug 18, 2004  at  10:19 PM
The fur-bearing trout story has come across the Rockies. My dad like to tell this story.
Posted by TC  on  Fri Aug 19, 2005  at  12:12 PM
Fur-bearing Trout Haiku

Skinned fur-bearing trout
Makes a nice waterproof coat
Smells real fishy though
Posted by Terran  on  Thu Nov 16, 2006  at  09:49 AM
Beneath the waters
A chemical accident?
A furry fish!
Posted by J  on  Mon Nov 20, 2006  at  01:27 PM
coat of warm fur
warms the fish in cold channels;
smell not Chanel 5
Posted by #1F  on  Wed Nov 22, 2006  at  07:02 PM
In deep river,
Mistake of evolution,
is hunted for fur
Posted by Exactor  on  Wed Mar 21, 2007  at  01:48 AM
The majority of amphibians have an aquatic larval stage, like a tadpole, but then live as terrestrial adults, and may return to the water to mate.
Posted by paste2008  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  10:26 AM
Some say that the creature evolved its thick coat to protect itself from the extreme cold of northern waters.
Posted by colorado river rafting  on  Tue Mar 11, 2008  at  02:16 AM
I saw a bunch of fur-bearing trout in the Rockies, but it might have been the result of too many Coors Lights . . .

Aaron Snow
Colorado Skiing
Posted by Aaron  on  Tue Sep 02, 2008  at  07:48 PM
I can't stop laughing !Haaaa!
Posted by Jangler  on  Thu Oct 09, 2008  at  07:25 PM
the fur bearing trout is a known fake. ripleys believe it or not in orlando has one mounted exactly the same as as the one pictured and an explanation of how they came about. ripleys also has a murmonkey. which is a monkey's top half sowed onto a fishes tail. heres my pic of the fur bearing trout from ripleys

Look here for other pics of fakes at ripleys
(this one shows the description of how the fur bearing trout came about but the pic is too blurry for me to read and i can't remember what it said)
Posted by shell  on  Wed Nov 19, 2008  at  10:33 AM
Yeah it's a fake. I saw this in Ripley's believe it or not, too. I think this is just a hoax.

Frank from Super Handybundle
Posted by Frank  on  Thu Jan 29, 2009  at  06:17 AM
The furry lobster is called a "Yeti Lobster." It actually is real, but extremely rare, I believe.
Posted by liddle bum  on  Sun Mar 15, 2009  at  12:41 AM
this website is wkd , i like the fur bearing trout there cool
Posted by macauley mcbride  on  Tue Sep 22, 2009  at  07:30 AM
At the age of 28, the fur bearing trout is still the best legend I have ever heard.
Posted by Al  on  Thu Feb 17, 2011  at  07:15 PM
Wait, it's true, my great grandfather discovered this piscatorial wonder. It's a rare, nearly extinct breed, the Hicken's Furbearing Trout is from the Artikdannder genus of fish and is found in the arctic lakes north of the 72nd parallel. Its diet consists primarily of ice-worms and fod. Sometimes confused with the more common Alpino-Pelted Trout.

Posted by Jeffrey Hicken  on  Tue May 27, 2014  at  10:55 AM