Also known as: Rainbow, redband (trout)

Steelhead are the anadromous form of the Rainbow trout. Meaning they, just like salmon, live at sea but are born and return to spawn in freshwater. However, unlike salmon, they don’t die afterwards. After regaining their strength at sea they may return multiple times, and Steelhead as old as 11 years have been found spawning. Unlike regular rainbows these fish develop very salmon-like heads when spawning, with long faces and slight kypes. Their beautiful spotting is very fine and unusually regular on the tail. This unique patterning is always present and can be used to identify them even at sea. Thanks to the rich marine environment, Steelhead grow big: 48″ (122 cm) and 55 lbs (25 kg) is maximum, but 20-30″ (50-75 cm) and 5-20 lbs (2.5-9 kg) average.

Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus) – spawning phase