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I hear that steelhead can go up river, spawn, then return back to sea for a few more years to come back and spawn again. If they do this, when they come up the river the first time, do they still turn red? And then when they leave, and go back to the salt would they turn chrome again?
 
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Steelhead are rainbows that go to the ocean and being trout they do not necessarily die after spawning. Repeat spawning steelhead can be a significant contributer to some runs of steelhead. The best part about repeat spawners is that they have some of the strongest genetics to pass on to their offspring.

The first time they come up they will still get their spawning colours and in any subsequent spawning trips they will also get their spawning colours. Kelt steelhead (spawned out) are also known as "rebrights" on their down stream trip after spawning as their body colouration returns to its former silver bright state. Some fish will rechrome quickly and I have found does to usually look the cleanest the fastest while other fish will keep their dark spawning dress until they hit the ocean again. Usually, until they reach the ocean they will look more like a clean rainbow from a lake rather than a chrome shiny fresh run steelhead.

These are just generalities but most steelhead will follow that general pattern.
 

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:thumbup: good answer :thumbup:

ever been to a lake in mid May - mid June seen all the fish spawning (or attempting) in the creeks around the lake. those are the same fish you can catch super bright later like in the fall after they have gorged on bugs :thumbup:


would be nice if we had a way of tracking steelhead behaviour so we could understand if they spawn multiple times or just do it once.
 

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Heres a question! What are done to the steelhead when they return to the hatchery? Are the eggs taken from the fish and destroyed? hmmm

CK
 
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professori said:
Most of the steelhead that spawn go back to the ocean and live, then return and spawn again (up to four times)
Most steelhead do not survive to spawn another time. Depending on the river system from 1 to 20 percent will return to spawn a second time with the average being more around 5 to 10%.

Most steelhead in BC are live spawned and returned to the river alive after they are done with them.
 

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kingpin said:
are you referring to the brood stock fish? once they have been spawned, the ones who survive and recover are released...
wasn't intentinial to hijack this thread sorry! I meant hatchery fish! Whats done with them once they return to the hatchery?

CK
 

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coho_killer said:
kingpin said:
are you referring to the brood stock fish? once they have been spawned, the ones who survive and recover are released...
wasn't intentinial to hijack this thread sorry! I meant hatchery fish! Whats done with them once they return to the hatchery?

CK
It is my understanding they are trucked back downstream to re-run the gauntlet
 

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HOOK said:
ok it its been done where can i find the research about how many times they return to spawn??
In Art Lingrens Kispiox River Journal theres an interesting part about two monsters caught by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in a test fishery on the lower part of the Skeena. Two 40LB Steelhead were caught, one of which was 9 returning for its second spawn and another that was 13 returning for a 4th spawn. Pretty amazing. Scale samples tell all. If you want more info I'm sure any biologist from the DFO coud send you tons of previously conducted studies and literature.

Peace, Zach
 
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