Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alosa, Nov 4, 2012.
Smoltification. One of many, not so minor, differences.
Having grown up in the Great Lakes I see the difference in the two "Steelhead / Rainbow" fish and locales is that there are a lot more of them in the Great Lakes. Policy makers in that region have a spine, ran the numbers and realized a long time ago that sport fishermen were a significant contributor to small town economies - so they groomed the resource with that intent in mind.
I want to see Taimen introduced to our salmon rivers - because sea run Taimen ROCK(!!!) and Smallmouth to the Bogie.
I really hope you're joking
Fuck smallmouth! I hate those little buggers.
I doubt that policy makers had anything to do with the prolification of rainbows in the Great Lakes other than introduction. More than likely it is due to the introduction of an invasive species at the cost of native species. I think you might want to do a bit more research on your Great Lakes and what has happened to the native inhabitants since the introduction of Pacific salmon and your precious fresh water "steelhead". Everything has a price.
Brook trout? What are those?!
Well, congratulations! You're insane. If you want Taimen I suggest you hop on a lane to Mongolia.
What about Kokanee and Sockeye ;-)
Fun to catch on light fly rods.
Brook trout are actually in the Char family
Yes, fully aware. What Im saying is what do you think the browns and "steelhead" have displaced?
Id still very much like to catch a sea run brookie
From what I've read pacific salmon and steelhead were also used to help control the invasive alewife species in the greatlakes.
The more you know....
Atlantic slamon, cisco, blue pike, lake sturgeon are a few of the native species doing poorly in the lakes with native atlantics almost extinct if not already. Pacific salmon likely are not the main cause of the decline of these species but they are a contributing factor.
When asian or silver carp make it into the lakes it will be over for all of them including the pacific species.
good lord, have you seen the documentar on the carp detailing just how close to entering the lakes they actually are?
I am not trying to argue that your basic point (that Great Lakes steelhead are not really steelhead) is incorrect. I agree with you as far as that is concerned. However, juvinile O. Mykiss in Great Lakes tributaries actually do go through a smoltification process before migrating downstream. From my understanding, this process reverses itself once they reach the lakes.
The smoltification process describes a host of changes (e.g., morpological, behioral) including physiological changes to the chloride cells in the gills, particularly the Na+-K+ (sodium-potassium) ATPase, that are needed for osmoregulation in saltwater. I'd be interested to learn whether its actually true (data?) that Great Lakes steelhead undergo all of these changes, only to revert back to the physiology conditions needed for freshwater existence. My understanding is that because there is no saltwater to freshwater transition, these populations are adfluvial (quasi-anadromous).
My guess is that the steelhead tranplanted to the GL don't know that they won't be migrating to salt water, so they do what O. mykiss has done forever, when they reach a certain size, and the photoperiod reaches a certain number of hours/day, the smoltification process begins, and they migrate. Well, most of them do. And this allows them to safely enter salt water. If they don't find salt water, well, no matter. The process turns itself off after a very few short weeks.
From what I've read there is almost no smolt mortality due to transition into the GL, even though the lakes mineral content is higher than the rivers the fish migrate from. The difference isn't high enough to produce the kind of stress that ocean sea water does.