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Is a blue back trout. A steelhead that hasnt ran to te ocean.

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  • Is a blue back trout. A steelhead that hasnt ran to te ocean.

    Blue back trout siusala river Oregon are steelhead that have not gone to sea I was under the impression that they are juvinele steelhead am I correct

  • #2
    Back home in Montana a "blue back" referred to west slope cutthroat trout.

    It is my understanding that steelhead do not begin the process of "smoltification" (physiological transition necessary for survival in the ocean) until they first get to the sea (or large lake) where they reside when not spawning. They retain those characteristics for the rest of their life no matter if they are in freshwater or marine environments. The young steelhead (smolt) stay in freshwater for one to three years before making their first run to the ocean. These would obviously be relatively small fish (compared to ocean run steelhead) while still in their "original" rainbow-like appearance. So, if you are referring to "blue back" rainbow trout that are the same size as ocean run steelhead, I think you're looking at a different resident subspecies that does not migrate to the ocean. Which subspecies that might be depends on where you live and whether there's hatchery planting in the area. A "blue back" smaller than typical steelhead from the ocean could be either a resident non-anadromous (non-ocean migrating) rainbow trout subspecies or a juvenile steelhead. I think it would be difficult to tell for sure which it would be without genetic testing.

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    • #3
      I think that's false. Even blue backs make it to the ocean. The only problem here I've heard are salmon (I think sockeye), steelhead, and cutthroat trout being called blue backs. Someone just called them a different name cause it has a blueish back to it. But it's either a trout or salmon, maybe evening a big blueback herring hard to say without a pic.

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      • #4
        there are a few different species that are called blueback trout. In New England they are a species of arctic char. That have also been introduced to some parts of Idaho. Some places steal head trout are called blueback trout. There is also the Beardslee trout from Washington which people call bluebacks. they are a subspecies of rainbow trout. Also sockeye salmon are called bluebacks in some places and there is also blue back herring. the word panther is the same, in the USA it means a mountain lion, South America=jaguar, Africa=leopard. blueback is the same way where you are it means different animals.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
          Back home in Montana a "blue back" referred to west slope cutthroat trout.

          It is my understanding that steelhead do not begin the process of "smoltification" (physiological transition necessary for survival in the ocean) until they first get to the sea (or large lake) where they reside when not spawning. They retain those characteristics for the rest of their life no matter if they are in freshwater or marine environments. The young steelhead (smolt) stay in freshwater for one to three years before making their first run to the ocean. These would obviously be relatively small fish (compared to ocean run steelhead) while still in their "original" rainbow-like appearance. So, if you are referring to "blue back" rainbow trout that are the same size as ocean run steelhead, I think you're looking at a different resident subspecies that does not migrate to the ocean. Which subspecies that might be depends on where you live and whether there's hatchery planting in the area. A "blue back" smaller than typical steelhead from the ocean could be either a resident non-anadromous (non-ocean migrating) rainbow trout subspecies or a juvenile steelhead. I think it would be difficult to tell for sure which it would be without genetic testing.
          One thing I was involved in for Lake Erie Steelhead was a way for them to find their way back to their home stream/river. There is a chemical they can smell down to PPB. We went up stream on the rivers they use and timer released the chemical into the river. The success of the spawn went up considerably. Just a short story.

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          • #6
            I grew up on the Siuslaw river in Florence Oregon.
            My understanding is that a Blue-Back trout is a Cutthroat trout that has migrated to the ocean and is returning. The difference between the Blue-Back and the Steelhead other than the Steelhead being a Rainbow trout is that the Cutthroat does not spend as much time in the ocean.

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