Spring Fishing Trip ~ Steelheads !
The 2016 spring trip was a great success! The weather in Altmar, NY was beautiful spring sunshine and the fishing was pretty good. Both boats that floated down the Salmon River landed fish, although the “expert boat” actually landed twice as many fish as the “non-Josh” boat. We experienced a new place to stay this year – Fox Hollow Lodge which actually featured a fox that run thru the camping area one night. Excellent accommodations.
So just what is a steelhead anyway? The steelhead (sometimes called “steelhead trout”) is an anadromous (sea-run) form of the coastal rainbow trout that usually returns to fresh water to spawn after living two to three years in the ocean. Freshwater forms that have been introduced into the Great Lakes and migrate into tributaries to spawn are also called steelhead. Because of the diet that steelhead eat while in the ocean or lake they develop great strength and size that far exceeds regular rainbow trout and they are prized as sport fish by fisherman.
Like salmon, steelhead return to their original hatching grounds to spawn. It is during these spawning runs upstream that fisherman will try their luck. Similar to Atlantic salmon, but unlike their Pacific kin, steelhead are able to spawn several times, and make several spawning trips between fresh and salt water or lake, although fewer than 10 percent of native spawning adults survive from one spawning to another.The survival rate for introduced populations in the Great Lake are higher, as high as 70 percent except for when “experts” fish for them near Altmar, NY. There are genetic differences between freshwater rainbow trout and steelhead populations that effect their spawning migration behavior.