Since when did steelhead start to mold?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by pwoens, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. pwoens Active Member

    Posts: 2,570
    Spokane, Washington, USA.
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    Went fishing on a little central washington river and proceeded to have my best day of steelheading ever, with 4 to hand in the first 20 minutes and my buddy bringing 5 to hand within the same timeframe....sounds like a fish story doesnt it ;) but I assure you, it was a day like no other. Nothing big, with all of the fish under 10 pounds, but it felt like rocky ford with the water low, clear, and the fish stuck below a water fall with no where to go.

    Anyways, point of my post is that almost all of the fish had the white fungus that you typically see on salmon, not steelhead? I thought steelhead were immune to this? Does this mean the fertilizer is finally getting to them, or maybe the hatchery genes are weakening the immune system? It didnt seem to affect only hatchery as the nate's also had the fungus.....and size didnt matter either? Any ideas? Or am I just under the wrong impression that steelhead do get this fungus?

    We did bring home some smokers :thumb:

    Attached Files:

  2. mike doughty Honorary Member

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    the uinta's
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    Great day patrick now where are the pictures of the fish? as far as mold i didn't know they got moldy either.
  3. inland Active Member

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    Patrick,

    Yes these fish get fungus. You can even find it on them in September when they are freshly arrriving to their destination tribs.

    Take a quick trip to any steelhead hatchery, near your neck of the woods, this time of year and you might be surprised how nasty they get. Run over to Dworshak if you want to see pens full of the nasty critters. After seeing these inland fish in this state of decomposition many years ago...my one and only trip attempting to catch them in late February was my last. At the absolute latest, once the Idaho license expires on Dec 31 I lay off them until new fish show up.

    William
  4. Flyn'dutchman Member

    Posts: 459
    Wenatchee, WA
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    When their slime layer is compromised they become prone to infection. That is why careful handling is so important. Many of the fish in Rocky Ford wear the same sort of scars as do the cutthroats in Lenore's the spawning chanel.
  5. pwoens Active Member

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    Spokane, Washington, USA.
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    the last pic shows my buddy holding our first 3 keepers on the stringer. :p
  6. yakcanyon Banned or Parked

    Posts: 45
    Your City ,State
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    steelhead go through almost identical physiological changes upon entering freshwater and preparing for spawning that salmon do. one of these is the shutting down of their immune systems.
  7. pwoens Active Member

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    Spokane, Washington, USA.
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    interesting info fellas....thanks.
  8. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
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    I've seen moldy stuff on fish in early september poor little buggers had to get through all the gear fisherman snagging silvers on the anchor.
  9. Preston Active Member

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    The spores of Saprolegnia fungus are present in our waters year round and will attack when any opportunity affords. The generally depleted condition of steelhead in the central Columbia and Snake Rivers and their tributaries at this time of the year makes it easy for the fungus to get a foothold. Don't forget, all of those steelhead are essentially summer runs, some of them having been in the rivers since as early as last May (few enter sfter September); fewer than one percent will survive to spawn a second time. Males, battling on the spawning beds, sustain many injuries that breach the protective layer of slime, as do females in the act of digging redds.
  10. msteudel Mark Steudel

    Posts: 966
    Seattle.
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    I saw a steelhead in the yak this weekend that had fungus all over it.
  11. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,979
    Olympic Peninsula
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    I always find Preston's replies and posts reassuring for their concise and factual content.
    Thanks again Preston! :ray1:
  12. Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Dillon, Mt
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    Also,when you get old you also start to mold. Or is that just me. :confused:

    Jim
  13. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    Olympic Peninsula
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    No, it just comes along with 5,563 posts :rolleyes:
  14. David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    Snoqualmie, WA, USA.
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    Jeez pwoens, if you are going to make up stories about 2 guys catching 9 steelhead in 20 minutes I don't know why you have to include the fungus part :)
  15. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,179
    the uinta's
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    Way to go SS :rofl:
  16. pwoens Active Member

    Posts: 2,570
    Spokane, Washington, USA.
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    bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.....just cause your stuck in utah doesnt mean you have to take it out on me.....Glad Im not over there....I couldnt handle the casting practice :p

    you see, the difference is I have yet to publish my book......but when I do, you better believe I will not share my earnings with the likes of you two (capmblade included) :ray1: :clown: :clown: :clown: :p :p :p
  17. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,179
    the uinta's
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    He, he, he, he, casting practice he says, i've got these rivers figured out now and as far as your book, unless you make it to salmon trout steelheader magazine with the amazing new steelhead string leech then i can't even speak your name :D
  18. inland Active Member

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    Mike,

    Wow- you got these rivers all figured out...now why exactly were you asking questions about rising white fish??? Or did that complete the final chapter??? :beathead:

    William
  19. Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Posts: 3,076
    Missoula, MT
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    Pat,
    I was on the same river last week, or atleast i think it was the same one ur talking about, and we saw many steelhead, and they all had fungus on them. We also spotted 2 redds, which was strange considering how far away we were from what i would consider normal spawning ground, but one of the guys i was with had a degree in biology and had studdied that river. He assured me that some of the steelies choose to spawn in the lower river. We decided to not mess with the fish as there were on redds or looking like they were going to make them. Sounds like u found a different spot on the river with less spawning. We went to a different river that day, and didnt see any fish spawning.

    Peace,
    Andy
  20. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,179
    the uinta's
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    I was just wondering if whitefish rose or not, i usually don't have much problems catching trout or whitefish, that wasn't the issue, i just didn't catch anything that day no matter what i threw out.