Steelhead Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss – scientific name
Lake Superior Steelhead Trout are native to the area. Each spring and fall, a population of wild steelhead runs into the tributaries of Great Lakes Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron.
Wild Steelhead trout are essentially Rainbow Trout, although Steelhead trout are a unique species. Individuals develop differently depending on their environment. All wild steelhead trout hatch in gravel-bottomed, fast-flowing, well-oxygenated rivers and streams. Some stay in fresh water all their lives and are called rainbow trout. Steelhead trout will migrate to the ocean grow larger than the Rainbows that stay in freshwater. When the spawn comes they then return to freshwater streams to repeat the cycle.
Unlike a salmon, which dies after spawning, steelhead trout can spawn, return to the ocean, and migrate back upstream to spawn several times.
Offspring of two steelhead trout, and offspring of two resident rainbow trout can create a steelhead or a rainbow trout all dependent if the fish stay in freshwater river or return to the great lakes and ocean.