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Steelhead Parr/Pre-Smolt??? Observed In Rocky River

Discussion in 'Steelhead Talk' started by jojopro, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Yesterday while fishing in the Rocky River I observed what I believe to be a steelhead parr/pre-smolt. The fish was 4 or 5 inches in length and had a very slender body with the distinct fin and body characteristics of a salmonid. The fish appeared to have greenish-brown coloring and blended fairly well with the river bottom. I wasn't able to get close enough to observe any parr markings, but I did notice the fish had large eyes characteristic of a parr salmonid. The fish appeared to be in good health, it was swimming along normally near the shore in very warm shallow water and darted off like a bullet when it noticed me moving closer to get a better look.

    I'm assuming that this was a 1 year old steelhead parr/pre-smolt that I saw. If this is in fact what it was, it's amazing to me that the fish could have survived a whole year in such a warm river. The Rocky River has allready reached temperatures exceding 80 degrees (aren't those temperatures far beyond a salmonid's tollerable limits?). It's my understanding that the survival rate of steelhead frye in our Ohio streams is extremely low, (like close to 0). Is it scientifically known what the odds are of a steelhead frye surviving one year in Ohio streams and developing into a parr? How about into a smolt? If a steelhead frye survives that first hot summer, are they more capable of withstanding the heat as parr/pre-smolts? Over the years that the ODNR has been stocking steelhead, have they also recorded/estimated the numbers of naturally spawned fish that survived to smolt stages? I wonder if there are any signs of the steelhead frye better adapting to the warm streams over the years?

    John