River closure

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by skyrise, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. The Great Lakes steelhead certainly are steelhead now. They use the lakes as their "ocean", and grow to be very big and strong. There have been growing numbers of feral fish spawning in tributaries, with no hatcheries, every year. The result is that the fish are naturally selecting and becoming very successful in each stage of their life history. Nowadays when you catch one of those fish, you won't be quibbling over where they got their mojo.
  2. "A pickle was once a cucumber" , How about that for a factoid !!!!
  3. You cannot transplant an anadromous fish, like a Steelhead (which is distinguished from Rainbows by the anadromous characteristic) into a freshwater Lake and still call it a Steelhead. There are a few reasons this is not possible. The big one is the very definition of anadromous: swimming up rivers from the ocean to spawn (for example, steelhead) (BC fishing regs).
    An ocean is: a : the whole body of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of the surface of the earth

    b : any of the large bodies of water (as the Atlantic Ocean) into which the great ocean is divided (Merriam Webster dictionary)
    Now a Lake is: : a considerable inland body of standing water (Merriam Webster dictionary)
    A Rainbow trout is any member of the species O. mykiss that spends its life in freshwater. This can be in a tiny stream, a large river, a small lake, a big lake, and a great lake. Their are many lakes capable of supporting O. mykiss populations that can achieve Steelhead sizes or larger, and some strains can gain massive size. One strain that I can name is the Gerrard strain, the largest caught was in Kootenay lake and was 16 kg or 35.5 pounds. (https://www.bchydro.com/about/sustainability/environmental_responsibility/compensation_programs/about_fwcp/gerrard_rainbow.html)
    Also I am sure many of you are familiar with the Skagit River. My version of the skagit is a small mountain river that has a dam on one end that forms Ross lake. Now I think steelhead used to go up above that point. If this is true then there are Steelhead genes in populations of Rainbows that are maybe no larger then 20 inches. Even if they go into Ross lake and come into the river to spawn, they are still rainbows as they do not display anadromous behaviour. You cannot turn Lead into Gold, just like you cannot turn a Lake into an Ocean.
    KerryS likes this.
  4. Geez, Ed, what's this-"Verbum Sapienti"?
  5. There was a natural barrier that stopped upstream migration somewhere around what is now Gorge Dam.
  6. whenever somebody says that GL steelhead are not steelhead, that's helpful in identifying somebody that doesn't have a clue about such things. they've naturalized themselves pretty well, with lots of nifty sub-strains of fish doing their thing without the negative effects of gillnetting and an unfavorable Sound migratory route to contend with. they have plenty of cormorants to deal with in the GL tribs, plenty of dams, plenty of polution (in some places), plenty of logged silted habitat. a lot of the rivers there get no hatchery plants and do just fine with natural repro. steelhead are pretty damn industrious. it's worth taking note of.

    that said I'd still rather fish a day on my favorite WA rivers than fish a whole week on any of my old favorite GL haunts. just my .02,

  7. The irony here is so marvelous, I almost spit Mt. Dew all over the keyboard from trying to contain the laughter.
  8. Steelhead are anadromous. Anadromy means a life history that includes salt water and freshwater, right? So technically speaking they aren't steelhead.

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  9. Well isntt two gays marying now considered marriage? maybe we should redefine what a steelhead is also

  10. I agree, I think that a steelhead should be defined as a fish that only comes into rivers on odd number years and the males have humps on them. If we can get that passed then I have already caught a shit ton of steelhead this year.
  11. On the contrary, to me those who say GL rainbows are steelhead choose to be ignorant and ignore/twist the fact a steelhead must be anadromous. Instead they choose to call a steelhead a migratory rainbow trout that goes from a freshwater lake into a river. This is a major logical fallacy. They are twisiting the definition to suit their needs.

    I have seen pics of GL rainbows, their caudal fin does not even come close to that of wild steelhead.
    Also they dont display that nice bullet like shape but rather look more like a football.

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    Darthmonkey likes this.
  12. I don't mind them calling those fish steelhead ...cuz by their definition I can hike to any alpine lake around here with a feeder creek that the fiah spawn in and catch 50+ steelhead a day!
  13. From the standpoint of a geneticist, they are the same fish. Skamania strain steelhead and GL rainheads. However from the standpoint of every wildlife agency, they are not truly steelhead. Everytime that steelhead is listed as a gamefish in the region by state wildlife conservation officials, right next to the word steelhead is Rainbow Trout in parentheses. Anadromous spawning behavior is what distinguishes a steelhead from say, Kamloops rainbow trout or a macaughney rainbow trout. So because a lake has a 4 foot tide movement it is somehow different? I call bullshit.
    Red Arch likes this.
  14. So, what if the Great Lakes steelhead have the ability to thrive in freshwater as well as saltwater? Its a fallacy to say saltwater is a prerequisite to call a steelhead a steelhead. I guess you can call them sea run trout as opposed to freshwater run trout, but it doesn't define what a steelhead is.

  15. The term you want is Adfluvial. This describes the run to a lake. Anadromy is specifically about migrating from salt to fresh water. There is nothing that takes away from the gameness of the fish in the GL. What we are mentioning is that the actual term is used incorrectly. Call them steelhead if you want, but technically they aren't because they don't spend cycles in the salt.
    KerryS and Ed Call like this.
  16. A steelhead is a rainbow that migrates out to sea.
    Would you call a lake run cutthroat a sea run cutthroat?
    Would you call a searun sockeye a kokanee?
  17. Exactly. That's what I've been thinking.
  18. the definition is given by humans---it doesn't make it true---only the man upstairs knows
  19. That makes no sense.
  20. The only characteristic that distinguishes a steelhead from a rainbow trout is that steelhead are anadromous. Anadromy is defined as spawning in freshwater and migrating to saltwater. The GL are not salt. There are lots of populations of adfluvial rainbow trout in the world, and that is what GL "steelhead" are, adfluvial rainbow trout. Genetics is irrelevant because genetics has no bearing on migrating between fresh and saltwater. Nor does it have anything to do with God, since the names of fish and the definition of anadromy were developed by humans. Good grief.


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