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THE KIDS PAGE

steelhead trout

Did you know that steelhead trout and rainbow trout are the same species of fish? They are! But because they live differently, they don’t look exactly the same. Steelhead and rainbow trout are born in freshwater, but as steelhead grow, they migrate out to the salty ocean for adulthood. Steelhead then later migrate back to freshwater, to the same river where they were born, to spawn a new generation of fish. Steelhead have speckles over most of their body, with a pink to red stripe along their sides. In the ocean, steelhead are torpedo-shaped, very silvery and even brassy in color on their upper bodies.

Young steelhead feed primarily on very tiny zooplankton. Adults feed on insects, mollusks and crustaceans, fish eggs, and even small fish (including trout!). Steelhead are an important food for many animals such as birds, bears, river otters, raccoons, seals, sea lions, and orcas. Unfortunately, many steelhead are endangered. Dams in rivers can block the fish from being able to migrate upriver to spawn. Bad logging and agriculture practices can pollute waterways, raise water temperatures, and reduce the water flows steelhead need to survive.

COLOR ME!

Story by Rebekah Staub. Top photo by California Sea Grant, Flickr CC. Bottom illustration by Freshwater and Marine Image Bank, CC.

EcoNews Feb/Mar 2018

www.yournec.org

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EcoNews Vol. 48, No. 1 - Feb/Mar 2018  

EcoNews is the official bi-monthly publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center, a non-profit advocacy and educational organization. T...

EcoNews Vol. 48, No. 1 - Feb/Mar 2018  

EcoNews is the official bi-monthly publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center, a non-profit advocacy and educational organization. T...

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