What's a steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Toney, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Sorry for the stupid question. I caught a 13 inch fiesty rainbow in the Sky yesterday. Are these considered steelhead or a resident in anadromous water?
  2. Sure it wasn't a sea run cutthroat? If not, it very well could have been a resident rainbow, though they are rare.
  3. If it was feisty most likely an SRC, also considering the resident population is slim even in peek months on the sky. May have been a Steely but at 13 inches would have been a short trip to sea.My geuss is a Nicely caught SRC.Good job!
  4. It was a pretty good fighting fish for a 13 inch rainbow. That's why I thought Steelhead. It wasn't a cutt. I checked carefully for orange slashes, knowing that they can be very faint in anadromous versions.
  5. It's possible that it was a young steelhead.
    I've heard that some return a year after being in the salt, but they're usually a little larger.
  6. This testimony to the Commission maybe able to shed some light about resident rainbow trout/steelhead.

    Good afternoon, The Wild Steelhead Coalition would like to thank the commission and
    WDFW the opportunity to provide testimony. We would also like to commend the
    department for putting forth some good proposals that will benefit wild steelhead.

    However we would like you to pay particular attention to the WSC comment regarding
    proposal #23 and take this opportunity to bring focus to the importance to protect wild
    riverine rainbow trout, the resident form of wild steelhead and the importance to protect
    this vital element.

    The WSC has provided each Commission member a copy of John McMillian’s article
    published by the American Fisheries Society on resident rainbow trout and wild steelhead

    Research is showing that resident rainbow trout in our anadromous highways and byways
    plays a significant role in the diverse life histories of wild steelhead. Resident
    rainbow trout, through participation in the late winter/spring spawning interactions of
    wild steelhead improve the success of fertilization of female steelhead, especially during
    April, May and June. During this period, male wild steelhead become depleted and the
    steelhead population is in part reliant on rainbow trout to provide the male partner for

    Steelhead and resident rainbow trout can produce independently the opposite form and
    resident rainbow trout can be the leading or single source of anadromous smolt
    production when the abundance of steelhead is depleted or extinct.

    The WSC finds it scientifically enigmatic to understand why the WDFW can protect one
    form of steelhead trout, the anadromous steelhead, but continues to allow harvest and/or
    gear methods that induce high mortalities of the other form, the resident rainbow trout.
    Both forms, by definition and taxonomy are classified as the same species, steelhead
    trout, and are genetically the same in each watershed. Each form contributes to the
    abundance and productivity of the other form.

    Rainbow trout can be an important component in the recovery of wild steelhead stocks
    and the rebuilding of declining stocks. Improved regulations are needed to protect
    resident rainbow trout

    We encourage the WDFW to pursue stream management strategies that protect all
    juvenile wild salmonids and rainbow trout while continuing to allow selective fisheries
    for adult salmon and hatchery steelhead. Aside from being confusing proposal #23 needs
    to be simplified and provide stronger regulations to further protect resident rainbow

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Wild Steelhead Coalition
  7. A steelhead is a rainbow that spends time in the ocean, otherwise its a rainbow.
  8. Thanks for info, everybody. I didn't realize that resident fish help out with the spawning chores. Interesting.

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