Since when did steelhead start to mold?

pwoens

Active Member
#1
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:
 

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inland

Active Member
#3
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
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.
 

pwoens

Active Member
#5
mike doughty said:
Great day patrick now where are the pictures of the fish? as far as mold i didn't know they got moldy either.
the last pic shows my buddy holding our first 3 keepers on the stringer. :p
 
#6
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.
 

Preston

Active Member
#9
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.
 

David Holmes

Formerly known as "capmblade"
#14
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 :)
 

mike doughty

Honorary Member
#15
pwoens said:
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:
Way to go SS :rofl: