Deschutes Redside or Steelhead

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by stklein.issaquah, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. P.Dieter

    P.Dieter Just Another Bubba

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    Maybe folks need to read this a couple times so I quote it.

    And from the WA regs: "Steelhead A sea-run rainbow trout 20" in length and over."
    So in WA a rainbow + 20" with access to saltwater is a steelhead for legal purposes.
     
  2. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Trout are PROMISCUOUS?

    I find that hard to believe.
     
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  3. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    What do you look for in the scale sample?

    Can an amateur biologist or fisherman do it?

    Jay
     
  4. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    Genetic studies have proven this to be true

    J
     
  5. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Hi Jay,
    While at some level, the process doesn't require much more elaborate a setup than a good dissecting microscope, it does require experience to make the calls with any confidence. This paper (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=fishery;idno=5020339.0001.001) is 30 years olds and refers to Great Lakes salmonids, but the idea on looking at the spacing of growth rings is true to anadromous salmonids too. Another more-technical option is to examine regions of a scale for chemical signatures that are characteristic of freshwater versus saltwater environments.

    Steve
     
  6. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    You could look at carbon isotopes. There is one that is a marker for having fed on oceanic life.

    But who cares. Over 20" is money and (from an angling perspective) if I catch one while swinging flies...It's all good.
     
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  7. That's a bad ass looking steelhead
     
  8. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

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    did you take a scale sample? of not, then we'll really never know.

    based on size and shape, I'd say steelhead. As mentioned, D redsides seldom get larger than 20"...I've seen a few, even held a few....but a fish the size of what you're holding, gotta be a steelhead. Interestingly, when that guy spawns, it may be with a resident trout or another steelhead...either way, his progeny may or may not head out to sea.
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    While genetically the resident (rainbow) and anadromous (steelhead) life histories of the species are the same the two because of different growth rates and feeding habits can be separated most of the time. As mentioned scales might be the easiest to gain insight in whether a particular fish has a resident or anadromous life history. Not only do the two life histories have different growth patterns it is typical that they also have different growth rates. For example on my home river a 24/25 inch steelhead will typically be 4 or 5 years old (2 years in the river before smolting and returning as an adult "steelhead'. A fish with a totally resident life history would take 9 or 10 years to reach that size. Of course can get a bit more murky when the resident fish lives in a food rich environment would grow fast; in fact if the fish has feeding access to a food rich environment it may grow as quickly as a steelhead.

    Even though a resident rainbow and a steelhead may share the same genetics because they live and grow in different environments there may be subtle differences in body shape and coloration though trying to separate the two on those characteristics is more problematical than scales or isotope testing. To the pictured fish; to my eye it looks as if the head is bit larger than normal (could be the result of the angle of the fish in the picture). I have noted over the years that on fish that have spawned multiple times the head seems to have a slightly more consistent growth than the body resulting in "head too big for the body" look. This fish looks to be a male that may have spawned before. That condition would be more likely in a resident fish than a summer steelhead. Again that difference is not definitive but supports the idea that it MIGHT be a resident fish.

    Just to make life more confusing to those that might attempt to place the fish in nice neat "boxes" at least for coastal cutthroat and bull trout there is ample evidence of individual fish changing life histories in mid life after reaching sexual maturity. There is no reason not to expect the same behavior of the O. mykiss complex as well. In fact there are examples on some upper Columbia tribs. of fish having spawned before smolting at ages of 5 to 7 years. There likely are other life histories shifts but we typically have such small sample sizes that they are rarely detected.

    Curt
     
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  10. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    It's a steelhead
     
  11. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Gorgeous fish! Looks like the typical coloring of summer run bucks this time of year but whatever it is, it's a beautiful shot. By way of comparison, here's a shot of a 24" hatchery buck wearing lots of red that I got on Sunday.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389716583.345548.jpg
     
  12. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Freestone, you caught that on The De-shoots? Great shot!
     
  13. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

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    I had to do a double-take. At first glance I thought it was a water color painting. Second glance, I'm an idiot. What beautiful colors!
     
  14. plaegreid

    plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

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    That is an Atlantic Salmon.

    #science'd #atlanticsalmonmasterrace #mileycyrus2016 #bieberfever #yolo
     
  15. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I think they are all amazing. I'm not sure the words "nasty old" and steelhead belong in the same statement.
     
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