Find a Fishing Charter
Choose State: Choose Region:
Fish Facts Home

Fish Facts  »  Steelhead


The interior of the mouth is white, unlike either coho or chinook. Also, the entire tail area is potted. Cheek plates and sometimes a line along the side are a rosy pink. Normally, the anal fin has 10-12 rays.

Habits - Steelhead spawn in the spring, as early as March, but they begin entering the spawning streams as early as the preceding September. A recently introduced summer-run strain of steelhead may enter the streams in mid-summer. Special early and late seasons are held to take advantage of these runs. Stream fishing is prime in October, November, March and April. In late spring and summer, steelhead can be found in big water - usually within a mile of shore at depths of less than 50 feet.


Steelhead habitat requirements change as they go through different life phases. Adult steelhead need to have access to their natal streams. This means that streams must be free of barriers to migration, as the majority of spawning occurs in the upper