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Written by TV Ontario   
Friday, 09 June 1995
Article Index
Fish-On! - 2 - Rainbow Trout
The Fish - Size and Shape
The Fish - Markings
The Fish -Requirements
Habitat - Distribution
Habitat - Management
Seasonal Changes
Seasonal - Spawning
Seasonal - Fry to Smolt
Seasonal - Maturation
Equipment - Baits
Equipment - Spawn
Equipment - Tackle
Equipment - Rods and Reels
Equipment - Bobbers
Equipment - Lures
Equipment - Other Gear
Technique - Reading Water
Technique - Bait Fishing
Technique - Lure Fishing
Technique - Fly Fishing
Ethics and The Future


Whether from the ocean or the Great Lakes, steelheads are generally silvery in color while in open water. Their backs may be blue, gray, or tan. their bellies are white. Some may have a slight pink band along the lateral line and on the cheek cover. Varying amounts of black spotting is usually scattered along the back, sides, and tail.

After entering streams and as the spawning season arrives, the fish darken gradually to a purple or pewter hue and the stripe on the side can be a vivid red. Males, more highly colored than females, develop a pronounced hook on the lower jaw, called a kype.

The steelhead is often confused with the Pacific salmon. The easiest way to distinguish it from the five species of Pacific is to look in the mouth. Salmon will have black or some gray on the inside of the mouth, while steelhead have all-white mouths.

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