For deep inlanders, steelhead are sea-run rainbow trout — big anadromous fish like salmon. Unlike salmon, steelhead don’t spawn and die, but return to the ocean (although in reality few fish survive to run and spawn a second time). Steelhead lose the characteristic red band (the rainbow) that freshwater rainbow trout have.
Idaho’s steelhead runs have held up a lot better than its salmon runs, and they provide a lot of income to small central Idaho communities in late March until the end of May.
Steelhead counts indicate good fishing. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer