Is a Steelhead a Trout or a Salmon?

What Is A Steelhead?

Steelheads also called ‘Rainbow Trout’ or ‘Steelhead Trout’, these species of fish are found in both freshwater and ocean bodies of water in North America and also Siberia in Asia. The fish are great migrators who as juveniles emigrate to the ocean water before returning to freshwater during the summer months in rivers, streams, and lakes.

This species of fish love habitats that are full of plants, gravel and anything else they can use to hide their eggs from predators until they hatch by themselves during the summer seasons. Once the fish hatch, they soon begin their journey towards the northern regions of the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Siberia.

Known to be a very aggressive fish which is great for fishermen as they can use a wide variety of bait and also they have to spend less time waiting around for the fish to bite the bait despite the fish not expending a lot of energy on hunting after they have just spawned.

Steelheads are a fish that is found through North America in the United States, Canada as well as Russia. This species of fish is also well known for going deep into United States territory in rivers and lakes in states such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

What Is A Salmon?

Salmon is another ‘anadromous’ fish that lives both in salt and freshwater which is quite an amazing feat since few fishes can live in both environments as they are such diverse habitats that the cells of most fish will simply burst and they will also suffer from psychological issues. There are many species of Salmon with 9 species currently being recognized. A very smart fish that is known for returning to the exact rivers and streams where they originally spawned years ago.

Juvenile Salmon tend to be a different color compared to when they mature, with the most well-known species of Salmon being originally light blue with a silver head when they are fresh spawns before eventually turning bright red or orange with a green head. Despite being tasty when smoked, Salmon is a great fish to try and catch when fishing due to their rarity, catching them is a fun challenge to embark on.

Salmon are found throughout the world with the fish migrating into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In the United States, these fish are found in the Salish Sea, Alaska and other states including Washington, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota to name a few.

What Is A Trout?

Trout is a name for a large number of species of fish that live in freshwaters but can also be found migrating to salt waters. They feed on other smaller fish, insects found in water and on land as well as plankton with Trout itself is a very popular edible fish in Europe.

Species of Trout are a common species for fishing in rivers, streams, and lakes around the world. Ice fishing is also a popular way to fish for Trout particularly in rivers, streams, and lakes in Canada and Alaska and other northern parts of the mainland of the United States.

Trouts are a fish that are found all over the world in Asia, Europe and of course North America with species of Trout also being introduced to other parts of the world such as Australia and New Zealand by European settlers in the 19th and 20th centuries quickly becoming some of the dominant species of fish in those areas.

Are Both Salmon And Steelhead, Trout?

Salmon is just one of a number of species of fish that fall under the collective name of Trout.  Some people even use the term ‘Salmon Trout’ which is officially an incorrect term as Salmon is just a type of Trout. Due to the different ways of life and behavior as well as the taste of their meat, many people think that Salmon is a separate species to Trout.

All this confusion does not go away with Steelheads, which are also a type of Trout but are confused by some people of being a type of Salmon due to their very similar behaviors with the biggest being that they take on large ocean migrations while most Trout species do not. Furthermore, due to spending a lot of time out at sea their meat has a very similar look and taste to Salmon. Despite this, Steelheads are currently an endangered species, unlike Salmon which has a large healthy population due to the fish species being widely farmed.

Conclusion

To conclude, Salmon and Steelhead are both two separate species that are part of the Trout family of fish which are known for always returning to spawn in the same areas with confusions arising due to some species of Trout such as Salmon and Steelheads migrating from the usual fresh water habitats of Trout to salt water environments.