Steelhead or rainbow trout?

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TTFishon

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The guy in the photo claims this fish is a steelhead but someone else in the article claims it's a hold over rainbow trout. It's hard for me to tell. What do you think?

steelheadorrainbowtrout.jpg
 
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halibuthitman

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hey TT, if the fish was caught in a river said to contain steelhead, and exeeds the lenght required by the state to be a steelhead... then its a steelhead, looks like a rainbow to me. Not really sure what the "carry over" term means... doesn't look like a stock pond to me, and most fish stocked into river systems don't die off. Rainbow trout and steelhead are the exact same fish with the exeption of spawning... there are no biological differences..... so the answer to the question for me would be yes:think::confused:
 
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solution7

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Nice Fish

Nice Fish

Looks like a steelhead based on size to me. Nice fish real pretty
 
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TTFishon

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The river does have specific steelhead regulations and the hold over trout get into the river from spilling over the dam from the reservoir above.
 
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As far a I know a steelhead is a rainbow trout. By reg. if you caught it in the river/creek and it's bigger than 20' - it's a steelhead. If you caught it in the pond - it's a rainbow trout regardless of the size.
 
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TTFishon

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It is my understanding that steelhead are anadromous and rainbow trout are not. Also baby steelhead look different to me than baby rainbows.
 
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osmosis

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judging by the intact dorsal, I'm pretty sure that fish was not a hatchery plant. That looks like a wild steelhead or trout to me, hope he did the right thing..
 
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TTFishon

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judging by the intact dorsal, I'm pretty sure that fish was not a hatchery plant. That looks like a wild steelhead or trout to me, hope he did the right thing..

Yes it stated in the article that he released this fish.
 
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steelhead_stalkers

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I would say steelhead because a planter trout would not get that big. Probably a summer steelhead that has been in the river a while. I love when they get that color very beautiful!
 
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TTFishon

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I would say steelhead because a planter trout would not get that big. Probably a summer steelhead that has been in the river a while. I love when they get that color very beautiful!

Yeah, that would be a very large planter trout. I know the planters get to at least five pounds in the reservoir above this river though.
 
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OnTheFly

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I bet it would take years for a trout to get that big. The life expectancy of a wild trout is roughly five or so years. Raised in a pond they could live for ten. Whether one calls it a trout or steelhead it looks a lot like the fish in the Fall River.
 
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steelhead_stalkers

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I don't think a planter would have an adipose and the fins look to perfect! :) A lot of times the rainbows are a bit fatter as well and the steelhead more slender.
 
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TTFishon

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It's good to know that it's a steelhead. Someone told me there are steelhead in the river system where that fish was caught but I have yet to see any mention of steelhead fishing in that particular river on this forum or on ifish.
 
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TTFishon

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I bet it would take years for a trout to get that big. The life expectancy of a wild trout is roughly five or so years. Raised in a pond they could live for ten. Whether one calls it a trout or steelhead it looks a lot like the fish in the Fall River.

It does look a lot like that fish.
 
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Mike123

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What river is this?
There are some BIG rainbows in rivers that have wild steelhead.
Hard to tell since they are the same species just that one is anadromous.

I caught 3 fish this year that are way harder to tell than this one on the South Santiam. Verrrry strange fish.. all of them were around 20-22in. All were hatchery fish. And they were FULLLL of bugs! Like the stomach was just about ready to split open. I think they were all hens if I can remember. They had really immature eggs. Here's a pic of one of them.

Regardless trout or steel it was a hatchery fish so it got a bonking.
 
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JeannaJigs

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I have caught a rainbow close to that size in a reservoir that shall remain nameless :)

Technically, the "reg book" calls anything over 20" in most river systems a steelhead, regardless of whether it has gone to the salt or not....Though there are rainbows that never make it to the salt, that reach that size, that call some rivers their home. They are the same species, it's just one is more adventurous than the other.
 
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TTFishon

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I have caught a rainbow close to that size in a reservoir that shall remain nameless :)

Technically, the "reg book" calls anything over 20" in most river systems a steelhead, regardless of whether it has gone to the salt or not....Though there are rainbows that never make it to the salt, that reach that size, that call some rivers their home. They are the same species, it's just one is more adventurous than the other.

Maybe we are talking about the same water system.lol

Personally I think there must be some kind of biological difference. Biologists just haven't figured it out yet. And because they haven't figured it out yet it's easier to classify a rainbow trout over 20 inches in a river system known to hold anadromous steelhead as a steelhead. That's just my two cents. Kind of like the bull trout and the dolly varden. They look alike on the outside but need to be dissected to see the difference between the species.
 
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Mike123

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Maybe we are talking about the same water system.lol

Personally I think there must be some kind of biological difference. Biologists just haven't figured it out yet. And because they haven't figured it out yet it's easier to classify a rainbow trout over 20 inches in a river system known to hold anadromous steelhead as a steelhead. That's just my two cents. Kind of like the bull trout and the dolly varden. They look alike on the outside but need to be dissected to see the difference between the species.

Yep.. my thoughts exactly.
 

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