- Anglers on the North Coast are a dedicated lot not easily discouraged by a little ice and snow. Unlike their more stoic brethern, the ice fisher--those who bundle up to sit near an open hole in the ice awaiting a slugish fish to wander by, these brave souls are after one of sport fishing's prize catches: Steelhead trout.
- This magnificent fish (Oncorhynchus mykiss ) is a rainbow trout that was first intoduced to Lake Ontario in the 1870s from the Pacific Coast where they spend a part of there lives in the sea. But while the Steelhead found on the North Coast spawn in streams like their Pacific cousins, they use the
- large lake waters of Ontario as their ocean.
North Coast steelhead reproduce in the late winter and spring. The males usually come upstream first, typically in mid- March continuing to early May. The females follow to deposit eggs in nests made by fanning their tails on the gravelly bottom in shallow water.
- After the eggs are fertilized they are mixed or covered with gravel and both parents return to deep water unlike their Pacific salmon relatives whose life cycle ends after spawning.
- The Steelhead leave their eggs and young fish to develop on their own. The time required for the eggs to develop depends on the water temerature--eggs develop faster in warm water. Young fish migrate to deeper, cooler, open waters when they are about 6-inches long.
- Adult fish average 20-24 inches long and weigh 5-10 pounds, with a few individuals weighing over 20 pounds.