Monday, January 2, 2017

What is a Steelhead?

January 2, 2017. Eric is photographed with Sixes river winter steelhead that he caught running plugs from the raft with Charlie over the weekend. These beauties entered the coastal river just days earlier and were caught about 10 miles upstream. Steelhead are ocean-run rainbow trout. They are born in the river and then head out to the ocean for a time, returning to spawn in the river. Unlike Pacific salmon, they do not die after spawning, but return to the ocean and then back to the river. They do this several times over their lifespan. Maybe this is why they are such hard fighting fish! Winter steelhead usually weigh in the 7 to 15 pound range. In most southern Oregon rivers we have both hatchery (fish born and raised in a hatchery to supplement the wild population) and native steelhead. 

They are truly amazing fish, as you can see!