Thursday, July 30, 2009


I realize this is a great time to fish for Steelhead and what a great way to cool off when the air temperature is 100 degrees, then to wet wade with your sandals, shorts, and t-shirt with fly rod in hand. We need to remind ourselves that this is an extremely vulnerable time for anadromous fish.

"Temperature tolerances and preferences of steelhead vary among seasons, life stages, and
stock characteristics. Juvenile steelhead can typically tolerate warmer temperatures than
other Pacific salmonids (Moyle 1976). Mortality of eggs begins at 13.3ºC (56ºF)
(McEwan and Jackson 1996). At temperatures greater than 21.1ºC (70ºF), steelhead have difficulty obtaining sufficient oxygen from the water (McEwan and Jackson 1996).
The preferred temperature range is reportedly 12.8-15.6 oC (55.0-60.1 oF) (Rich 1987),The incipient lethal temperature for steelhead,calculated as the temperature ate which half a group of experimental fish die, is between approximately 25 and 26 ºC (77.0-78.8 ºF) under experimental conditions (Bidgood and Berst 1969, Kaya 1978). Warmer water requires more abundant food resources for fish survival, because of the resultant increase in their metabolic rate (Brett 1971, Fausch1984). " (Appendix C, Steelhead Life History)

"I think it’s important that we all understand that if water temperature is 66 degrees or lower, you have a better chance of hooking a Steelhead than if the temperature is 67 and above. The other factor that is key for Wild Steelhead survival, is understanding how stressed the fish become at these higher water temperatures. Sure they might move around a little bit here and there, but think how hard it will be for a Steelhead to recover after being hooked, played, landed, and released, (if you were so fortunate to do so) it might not be able to recuperate the oxygen it needs to live. " by John Smeraglio

If you care about the safety of wild fish please limit your fishing to the morning only between 4am-10am or even better wait till this hot weather passes.