Pale meat steelhead?



I thought about asking this when I caught and filleted the fish, but it slipped my mind. Anyway I took some fillets out of the freezer the other day and they were really light colored; exactly the same color as a trout. This fish was 24" and over 6lbs, if I recall; the jaw was slightly hooked and it was getting just a bit of color on the scales. The meat was firm and had good texture and flavor, but really just tasted like a trout rather than a steelhead. I'm wondering why that is. Did this particular fish simply not spend a lot of time in the salt? Or maybe it never left the river and camped out in the estuary until it's kin came home. Any insight on this? The other fish I caught this season were the normal steelhead pink.


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Was it a down-streamer? Meaning had it already done it's business and was returning to the ocean. I've kept some steelhead in the past that had already spawned, I don't anymore, and their meat was a pale color like you describe...


I'm not sure how to tell if it's a down-streamer, but it could have been. It was a hatchery fish, but there's always the chance that is took a detour into a side stream or got past the fish trap and did it's business. After enough time in the fresh water do they start to lose the pink coloring they get from the ocean diet?


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a buc that has already spawned would not have any milt left in it. and yes, the color definitely fades...


If I recall, this one had a bit of milt left, but I may have my fishes mixed up at this point. that was nearly 60 days ago.... :)
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