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Steelhead Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Trout Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Steelhead Trout

Common Name(s):
Rainbow trout, silver trout, redsides
Steelhead trout are almost identical in genetics to the rainbow trout. They both have the typical trout-shape with an adipose fin, and a squarish tail that has black spots throughout. They have 10-12 anal rays and a white mouth and gums. Steelhead are more silvery in color. Though noted for the broad red or pink stripe along the middle of its sides, the stripe may not be readily apparent on sea-run steelhead or immature specimens in clear lakes..
Similar Fish:
Rainbow trout, lake trout
Feeding Habits:
Steelhead trout are mainly meat eating fish. They feed on a wide variety of prey including insects, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and fish eggs.
Steelhead trout are found primarily in the Great Lakes area and also on the West Coast to Alaska. They need the bigger lakes and ocean to grow to the larger size; their size is what differentiates them from the rainbow trout.
What creates the difference between the rainbow and steelhead trout is its habitat. The steelhead are found in the Great Lakes and the rivers of the Pacific coast.
Typical Size:
The steelhead trout is like a rainbow trout on steroids. They have the same genetic makeup but steelhead trout can get 2-10 times larger then the rainbow trout.
World Record:
42 pounds, 2 ounces (Source - IGFA)