Commonly known as the steel-head trout, coastal rainbow trout, silver trout, salmon trout, iron-head, or steely this salmon has historically been idolized as a trophy game fish. This species consists of a two runs, a winter and a summer.
They differ from other salmon species in that hey can return multiple times to spawn. However the number of returning spawners decreases significantly from year to year with few fourth year spawners. There is a higher mortality rate during steel-head spawning season as they do not feed while in freshwater.
They are characterized by their metallic blue backs and silvery sides, and black spots on the back, dorsal and caudal fins. Spawning colors are darker with males having a pink or red band on the sides.
They do not have a red dash under lower jaw which distinguishes steel-head from coastal cutthroat. These fish live about 1-4 years, are about 20-30 in in length, and weigh about 5-20 lbs.
The cutthroat, also known as sea-run cutthroat trout, coastal cutthroat trout, red-throat-ed trout, sea trout, and blue-back trout. This species has three life history options: two types spend their entire lives in freshwater while only one type is anadromous.
Cutthroat are characterized by a red or orange streak along the inner edge of the lower jaw. They have a greenish blue back tending towards metallic blue, silvery sides, and distinct black spots on the back, head, anal fin, tail, and sides.
The spots on the sides extend below the lateral line. These fish live an average of 3-6 years, fourth and fifth year spawners reach 17-19 in in length, and weigh about 1-6 lbs.
South Pudget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group / ABC Flash Point News 2023.
Beautiful fish, unfortunately heading for extinction due to over-fishing and pollution along the coastline sanctuaries?
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