Years ago we presented you with a brief post on the major difference between summer and winter steelhead – a distinction still widely misunderstood by even the most hardcore steelhead anglers. It’s a gray topic indeed, and one that continues to spark debate amongst anglers and biologists alike.
However, our pal, steelhead aficionado, and Alaska West alum, Nick Chambers, recently published an incredibly interesting article for Trout Unlimited’s Wild Steelhead Initiative on how winter and summer steelhead are actually genetically different, surrounding some recent research on the topic.
The article delves into not only how life strategies differ between winter and summer steelhead, but how researchers have been able to pinpoint the specific variation of a gene (known as an allele) found to determine whether a steelhead returns to its natal stream as a mature ‘winter’ steelhead or an immature ‘summer’ steelhead. Fascinating.
If you’re like us, love steelhead, and are interested in the research being conducted to protect wild steelhead populations everywhere, make sure to click right here to give it a read!