I was thinking about steelhead this weekend–they are still quite a ways off but it is hard not to think about them from time to time. Things look optimistic for this fall; the reports from the big lake are pretty good and the fish are abundant and healthy. Another indicator that we have about steelhead is by looking at the summer steelhead. I spend most of my time on the Muskegon, and though we don’t have a sustained summer run, we do get stragglers. This year stragglers have been big–this is another indicator of health of the steelhead in the lake.
This spring, we had a period of high water, and I spent my time when the river was flooded photographing steelhead that had moved up into tiny springs that were now swollen. The photos of these fish can be found here. You think that steelhead are an awesome fish and then you watch them go through water that seems impassable and realize they are even more amazing than you once thought.
Eventually their mission is complete, fry hatches, and the life cycle continues. Those fish that were hatched in these tiny streams have a better chance of survival. The water in these small streams is cold all year.
Thanks for looking and enjoy the rest of the summer!