My Scientific Name
By the Numbers
While I normally weigh between 8-11 pounds and grow to about two feet long, some of my species have grown up to 55 pounds (25 kg) and 45 inches (120 cm) in length!
How to Identify Me
In freshwater we steelhead usually have dark-olive backs, a silvery-white underside, and are heavily speckled with a pink to red stripe along our sides. During our lives in the ocean we are torpedo-shaped, very silvery and even brassy in color on our upper bodies. That’s how we got our name.
Why I Matter and What's Been Happening
As a sea-run trout, I have a truly unique lifecycle. We are born and spend the first part of our lives in freshwater, then migrate out to the ocean where we grow to adulthood. We then migrate back to freshwater, to the same river where we were born, to spawn a new generation of fish. We’re also one of the top five sport fish in North America!
Because our life cycles are so complex and dependent upon good habitat (both in the ocean and in freshwater), some populations across our native range in North America are healthy, while others may be declining or of concern. NOAA-Fisheries, the federal agency in charge of our species, has designated 12 Distinct Population Segments of steelhead on the west coast of the United States to help conserve our species.