Summer vs winter

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Phil_Bud

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How can you tell the difference between a summer and winter steelhead???
I've caught chrome and colorful fish in the summer and winter it seems like?
just wonderin?
:think:
 
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SantiamDrifter

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The easiest way is by the timing, winter vs. summer. Go figure. But each type of hatchery fish has its own kind of marking on it. Im talking about the fin's that are clipped on each fish. They usually will tell you what strand of fish you caught.
 
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Phil_Bud

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The easiest way is by the timing, winter vs. summer. Go figure. But each type of hatchery fish has its own kind of marking on it. Im talking about the fin's that are clipped on each fish. They usually will tell you what strand of fish you caught.
Well what about on a river with no hatchery like the one I have a house on??? They all native so the fin clip doesn't help.
I guess a better question would have been what causes steelheads' colors to be either mostly chrome or with the red gill plate and stripe down their side??? and does it have anything to do with summer and fall???
 
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Phil_Bud

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I guess a better question would have been what causes steelheads' colors to be either mostly chrome or with the red gill plate and stripe down their side??? and does it have anything to do with summer and fall???
 
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steelheadstalker31

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Steelhead start to color up once they leave salt water. So, when you catch a chrome one it just means it hasn't been out of the salt very long. So, you can catch chrome spring, summer, fall, and winter steelhead. The colored ones you are catching now would be late summers and the chrome ones would most likely be winter.
 
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plumb2fish

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Summer steelhead enter the river very sexually immature. they can spend as long as a year in fresh water prior to spawning. Winter steelhead enter the river and spawn shortly after they arrive, winters will color up quickly once in fresh water. Summers not so much. Some times it can be very hard to tell the difference between the 2 until you open them up. I have seen platinum summers caught in febuary and march on rivers that had fresh winters in them at the same time. The difference was the stage of development in the sex organs(roe/milt).
 
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Phil_Bud

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Steelhead start to color up once they leave salt water. So, when you catch a chrome one it just means it hasn't been out of the salt very long. So, you can catch chrome spring, summer, fall, and winter steelhead. The colored ones you are catching now would be late summers and the chrome ones would most likely be winter.
Thanks, so if I catch a summer in the winter its still a summer?
 
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Phil_Bud

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Summer steelhead enter the river very sexually immature. they can spend as long as a year in fresh water prior to spawning. Winter steelhead enter the river and spawn shortly after they arrive, winters will color up quickly once in fresh water. Summers not so much. Some times it can be very hard to tell the difference between the 2 until you open them up. I have seen platinum summers caught in febuary and march on rivers that had fresh winters in them at the same time. The difference was the stage of development in the sex organs(roe/milt).
That makes sense thanks.
 
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SantiamDrifter

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I guess a better question would have been what causes steelheads' colors to be either mostly chrome or with the red gill plate and stripe down their side??? and does it have anything to do with summer and fall???

The amount of color a fish has on it, is strictly due to the amount of time its been in fresh water.
 
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Thuggin4Life

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way to funny. would be a fall chromer for sure. What these guys said. also fish come in waves so you can get into bright fish from the begining to the end of the peak of the run. then you can still pick fish up later that are holding. specially with sumer fish. on some rivers you can catch a summer on its way back to sea while out after winters. very easy to tell the difference. here on the willamette you can get into steelhead basically year round even though there just summer runners just because of what plumb2fish said. but still if its a bright fish best way to tell is the time of year if your aren't sure of your prey.
 
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halibuthitman

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I think the most important thing to remember.... is... wait for it...... who gives a ****? serously... how many people have seen a picture of a steelhead and said... whooooo that would have been a nice fish if it was a summer!!!! or let this one go cause its only sept and its a winter fish... shucks... this has to be the funniest thing to read,.,." got this nice summer up on broken oosik crick today" shadetree biology is the balls!
 
kirkster

kirkster

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I have no idea. And it's gettin dark fast.
Summer steelhead enter the river very sexually immature. they can spend as long as a year in fresh water prior to spawning. Winter steelhead enter the river and spawn shortly after they arrive, winters will color up quickly once in fresh water. Summers not so much. Some times it can be very hard to tell the difference between the 2 until you open them up. I have seen platinum summers caught in febuary and march on rivers that had fresh winters in them at the same time. The difference was the stage of development in the sex organs(roe/milt).
Excactly what plumb2fish says. I have to say its like reading it out of a book. Even though for beginners it may seem confusing. Try not to be to concerned and with experience it will seem easy to tell. So until odfw comes up with a reg change saying only summer steelhead can be kept and all winter fish must be released. Or vice versa. Just consider it a steelhead and be proud to have out smarted one of the most elusive fish there is. The rest will come in time.
 
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JeannaJigs

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Bahahaha thanks for the breaking up the lunch break monotony :lol:
 
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tnffishman

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Just remember if It's the end of the year and the fish is dark, it's a summer... and If it's spring and the fish is dark, it's a winter
 
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rippin fish lips

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Excactly what plumb2fish says. I have to say its like reading it out of a book. Even though for beginners it may seem confusing. Try not to be to concerned and with experience it will seem easy to tell. So until odfw comes up with a reg change saying only summer steelhead can be kept and all winter fish must be released. Or vice versa. Just consider it a steelhead and be proud to have out smarted one of the most elusive fish there is. The rest will come in time.

what he said
 
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