Fisheries biologists from PA, NY, OH & MI provided me with information, Internet links and opinions. The public studies and reports they compiled are full of interesting data. Keep in mind that studies examine a small sample of the overall, steelhead population.
Here are some study supported findings that I found interesting. These statements are my translation for what I read in the reports.
- Some steelhead smolts [especially small ones] swim upstream and not out to the lake.
- Some smolts can be found in the tributaries in late summer and never reach the lake.
- Smolts stocked near the tributary mouth disperse within a few weeks.
- Near shore predation by smallmouth bass and walleye has minimal impact on smolt survival.
- A sample of returning adults to Catt – found 90% were not stocked in the Catt.
- Larger smolts stocked upstream more likely to return to “stocking tributary”.
- Open water steelhead catches by boaters are down
- Over the last 7-years, mean length of spawning run steelhead has declined.
I am still reading and searching for additional or more recent studies to help me understand what we will experience this fall and in the years to come.
Here are the two documents from which I formed the above statements.