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  1. #18
    Senior Member dsa2780's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    478D9735-2EB6-48DB-A29B-7D155E4C0BDF.jpg


    Not a real deal eel, but got this urban steel as bycatch while hoverfishing roe back in September. Released promptly. Actually saw quite a few of the Coleman’s or Central Valley ones swimming around people’s legs up at the hatchery in October. Seemed to be chill with people, maybe picking up eggs from fish being cleaned or liked the rocks being churned up by people wading and munching whatever came up.


    There was a week in July where for whatever reason swinging a Cleo always resulted in some Colemans. Fun stuff but can’t wait for the real ones.
    Last edited by dsa2780; 12-13-2019 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #17
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    IMG_0577.jpgI have a half dozen or so under my belt so far.

  3. #16
    Senior Member ghostfish_slayer's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    You guys thought I fell off or something,, come on now.. it's steelhead season.. best season of the year. You guys all lagged on the $teelhead photo sticky for last year.. I don't have moderator powers anymore or I might have fixed that.
    if you fish for trout you will catch trout!! if you fish for steelhead you might catch steelhead!!

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  5. #15
    Senior Member ghostfish_slayer's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    i had a very decent steelhead season last year in my stomping grounds... big pushy dirty water and quite a few quality fish real close to the ocean..my first real adult fish was right around the first of the new year 8/9 lbs.... had a decent season on the beach with top water striped bass when i could find time to get away from catching salmon in the bay.. i only fished halibut one day out there.. just lots and lots of salmon.. over 60 trolling straight green kroc.. another 80 or 90 on flasher hoochy.. pretty much lost count... it was good..
    if you fish for trout you will catch trout!! if you fish for steelhead you might catch steelhead!!

  6. #14
    Senior Member Nor_Cal_Drifter's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    sNs is onto something with water temp being a factor on run timing for Salmon - I remember several years ago just before this last drought - we had high cold flows in the AR in Sept and we were hooking chrome fish in the upper river in early Sept. I thought sure we’d see similar results this last fall but those fish were late. Water may have been warmer - not sure.
    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

  7. #13
    Member steeliesNstripers's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    Quote Originally Posted by steeliesNstripers View Post
    The same parallels can be drawn for the various runs of steelhead on valley and coastal rivers in California. Life history (spring, summer, fall, winter) and water temperatures are the determining factors for typical run timing.
    A great example of this at work is the Coleman strain (experiment) of steelhead CDFW tried, unsuccessfully, to propagate on the AR as a suitable replacement for the now-extant, central valley, summer-run steelhead once (pre Nimbus and Folsom Dams) native to the AR.

    In 2015, they raised Coleman steelhead fingerlings from Battle Creek (tributary to Sacramento River) and planted them in the American River. In 2016 and 2017, returns of these fish were substantial... I know cuz' my friends and I caught hundreds of them.

    There was one MAJOR problem though... the fish came up the river in August and Sept and had contracted a bacteria which caused kidney disease in fish.

    Regardless, this strain would never work as a naturally-spawning fish in the AR anyway. Coleman steelies are a SUMMER-run fish which enter the system early and make a slow journey to their headwaters to gradually ripen before spawning between October and December.

    On the Sacramento River, the water is cold enough to allow the fish to enter the river as early as August and gradually make their way to trib's and/or the Coleman Hatchery on Battle Creek. The AR is too warm at the beginning of the run for these fish and there isn't enough spawning or rearing habitat to support their offspring even if they were able to successfully spawn in our urban river.

    I'm also betting that the bacteria issue CDFW discovered when great numbers of these fish came up the Nimbus Fish Ladder in 2017, was also related to warm water conditions which are usually more favorable to bacterium incubation and reproduction...

    YEP, life cycle and water temperature are critical to spawning success and even though the Eel River strain steelhead may not be a great fit for the AR, it has proven over and over between the 1970's and now that it is the most feasible if not best choice we have. I only wish that CDFW would raise 2-3 million of them instead of the paltry 450,000 smolts they release every March...

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  9. #12
    Member steeliesNstripers's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    Quote Originally Posted by steeliesNstripers View Post
    The later arrival of salmon on the AR is definitely related to water temperature.

    Salmon spawn best in 52 degree water. 56 degree water is still cold enough to support egg development, Warmer temperatures reduce spawning success and survival of offspring.

    The Sacramento River gets it's water from the chilly depths of MT Shasta and so is much colder much sooner than either the Feather or the American Rivers.

    The Feather river water from Lake Oroville cools down faster than the AR so salmon seek it out next.

    The American River water doesn't get cold enough for salmon spawning until November so its fish enter latest of the three,

    Distance to the spawning grounds is also a factor. Naturally, salmon with the longest journey begin migration first. (Sac, then Feather, then AR).

    Springers, which are adapted to tolerate warmer water conditions and who enter freshwater systems earlier than their fall and winter-run counterparts come up as early as May on all three rivers.

    Unfortunately, CDFW doesn't manage to preserve the distinct, spring run on the American River as they do on the Feather River and they also have imposed a blanket salmon opener of July 15th... so the AR spring run is likely headed for extinction. Few will ever experience catching a spring king on the AR in years to come.
    The same parallels can be drawn for the various runs of steelhead on valley and coastal rivers in California. Life history (spring, summer, fall, winter) and water temperatures are the determining factors for typical run timing.

  10. #11
    Member steeliesNstripers's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    Quote Originally Posted by stefanoflo View Post
    we will never figure out the Salmon or steelhead Mind set . regardless of what The experts say . better yet , want to fish steelhead. Go Out drop a Line and then maybe you will get one. in 2012 it was great Opener on the American in 2012
    In 2013, It seemed to peak in Late Feb and early March . . Just drop a line and hope for the best !. we will never Figure out a fishes mind . like we will never figure out a Women's Mind . It`s all a Mystery!!!!.FISH ON!!!!
    The later arrival of salmon on the AR is definitely related to water temperature.

    Salmon spawn best in 52 degree water. 56 degree water is still cold enough to support egg development, Warmer temperatures reduce spawning success and survival of offspring.

    The Sacramento River gets it's water from the chilly depths of MT Shasta and so is much colder much sooner than either the Feather or the American Rivers.

    The Feather river water from Lake Oroville cools down faster than the AR so salmon seek it out next.

    The American River water doesn't get cold enough for salmon spawning until November so its fish enter latest of the three,

    Distance to the spawning grounds is also a factor. Naturally, salmon with the longest journey begin migration first. (Sac, then Feather, then AR).

    Springers, which are adapted to tolerate warmer water conditions and who enter freshwater systems earlier than their fall and winter-run counterparts come up as early as May on all three rivers.

    Unfortunately, CDFW doesn't manage to preserve the distinct, spring run on the American River as they do on the Feather River and they also have imposed a blanket salmon opener of July 15th... so the AR spring run is likely headed for extinction. Few will ever experience catching a spring king on the AR in years to come.

  11. #10
    Senior Member stefanoflo's Avatar
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    we will never figure out the Salmon or steelhead Mind set . regardless of what The experts say . better yet , want to fish steelhead. Go Out drop a Line and then maybe you will get one. in 2012 it was great Opener on the American in 2012
    In 2013, It seemed to peak in Late Feb and early March . . Just drop a line and hope for the best !. we will never Figure out a fishes mind . like we will never figure out a Women's Mind . It`s all a Mystery!!!!.FISH ON!!!!

    A Life spent fishing, is never wasted.

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  13. #9
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    Re: any steelhead yet???

    Quote Originally Posted by Nor_Cal_Drifter View Post
    There’s got to be more to it than that, as the Salmon follow the same pattern - Sac up by Redding sees the first fish followed closely by the Feather, then the AR. Seems like the fish that have the farthest to go come in first. There’s actually two strains of Steelies on the AR - the Eel River strain which are larger and longer, and the “true” AR strain that are smaller and shaped like a football. The Eel River strain actually come in earlier than the AR fish.

    I'm by no means an expert, just what I've read over the years and experienced. There are so many variations on runs and timing, it can make one's head spin. Historically, the Sac had some salmon in it year round. Everything from Spring run fish, all the way through Late Fall, and Winter Run fish. Growing up, we used to be able to fish Spring run fish in Butte Creek. The Feather still gets the bulk of the spring run.

    I don't know a reason for the American salmon being later. Only have read about Eel River steelhead.

    I know the coastal rivers run timing varies significantly generally around river flows. Bigger rivers like the Klamath, Trinity, Rogue and Sac have fall runs, but the shorter coast rivers tend to get the later fall / winter fish. Smith vs. Klamath fish are very different. I expect the same thing happens in the Central Valley fish. I also think there's a bunch of cross breeding that goes on, so there's a lot of mutts swimming around. I know trucking fish, and the impacts on fish straying to different rivers is an issue some folks are very concerned about. I kind of figure, more mutts are better than few "pure" fish, but there's every possibility I'm full of crap.

    Interesting discussion though.

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