DNR Q & A: What is the difference between a steelhead and a rainbow trout?

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources field staff, resource managers and the DNR Information Center staff answer many questions every day about natural resources topics. Here is one of them:

Q.  What is the difference between a steelhead and a rainbow trout?

A.  Steelhead are a migratory form of rainbow trout that spend part of their lives in the ocean or Great Lakes and return to spawn in freshwater streams and rivers. Steelhead, first introduced to Lake Superior in 1895, occur naturally along the Pacific Coast. They have become naturalized along Minnesota’s North Shore; the population relies mainly on natural reproduction rather than stocking. __Spring spawning runs in Minnesota have been delayed this year by our long, cold winter, but steelhead are expected to arrive in streams up and down the North Shore by early to mid-May if the weather cooperates.

-- Don Schreiner, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor

For more information, call the DNR information line at 296-6157 or go to the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

 

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