Category Archive: Steelhead Files

Steelhead 101: Defining types of steelhead hatcheries

Every steelhead angler is probably somewhat familiar with hatcheries. As we discussed last week, deciphering the jargon associated with hatcheries is important, but can also be difficult. This week’s terminology is more common-place, and many of you may be familiar with it already. But, just in case, let’s look at the terms used to broadly … Continued

Sportfishing Industry asks Trump for solid review of Snake River Dams

More than 50 fishing companies, trade groups and conservation organizations sent a letter today to President Donald Trump in support of taking a fresh look at removing four large dams on the lower Snake River to recover wild salmon and steelhead that once thrived in the Snake River Basin of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.   … Continued

What happened to our Columbia River steelhead?

By now, you have probably heard steelhead returns to the Columbia are well below the most recent ten-year average. As a result, places like the Methow River will not be open to steelhead angling this fall.   In short, that is a bummer.   There has been much speculation about the causes for the decline … Continued

Juvenile steelhead doing what it takes to become a smolt: You grow in summer, I’ll grow in winter

Another Friday, another blog post on the science of steelhead. We love this day of the week! Our topic this week is the growth of juvenile steelhead.  Did you know that the growth rate of steelhead can vary depending on the season of the year?  This variation in growth rate can be considerable. There are … Continued

Steelhead biology for anglers

One thing you will notice about anglers who have spent a lot of time on the water, and I mean a potentially unhealthy amount of time on the water, is they catch fish. This can be frustrating to new anglers who are just learning to steelhead fish and spend many fishless days casting.   There … Continued

Time to rethink what you thought you knew about steelhead

  John McMillan I bet we all think we know what a steelhead is: a rainbow trout that goes to the ocean and returns to spawn in freshwater. I agree. But, new research indicates that the definition may not be so simple. Jason Hall, a researcher with NOAA in Seattle at the Montlake Lab (Northwest … Continued

Asotin Creek – WDFW update

By Ethan Crawford, Fisheries Biologist – WDFW Asotin Creek Project An earlier blog post described the great resiliency of wild steelhead in Asotin Creek and noted that this resiliency is in part due to a combination of a variety factors: improved habitat quality, increased spill at hydroelectric facilities, good ocean conditions, and a great reduction … Continued

Life history diversity: dispersing risk

By Brian Hodge Just as investors diversify their portfolio of assets to minimize financial loss, fisheries managers may diversify their portfolio of conservation strategies to minimize species loss. Another fishy analog for the “portfolio effect” comes from the steelhead—it reduces risk of extinction by displaying a diverse array of life histories, or pathways from hatch … Continued

The advantage of avalanches

  Here in this timbered, steep, up and down country of Idaho, the forces at work are not merely wind and water. Here, the tumble of rocks and cracking of large trees has been important to shaping river habitat for centuries. Avalanches are not just territory for the backcountry skier. They’re good for steelhead too. … Continued

Steelhead in Orlando ICAST/IFTD report

Each year in Orlando the entire fishing industry gets together for their trade show,  ICAST/IFTD. It’s the place where everyone who makes a living off the tug on the end of a hook gathers to see what is new, take orders from dealers and learn about trends in the industry, including conservation issues.   With so … Continued