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Siskiyou Summer Steelhead


Siskiyou Summer Steelhead

Summer-run steelhead trout have been described as 'canaries in the coal mine' of the few California watersheds that support these unique runs of fish. The fish run upstream in spring, hold in suitable habitats throughout hot, dry summer, and spawn fall to winter. Because of their unique life history, tracking these fish give a concrete biological indicator of water quality and habitat conditions. Unlike salmon and Pacific lamprey, steelhead can spawn and migrate multiple times throughout their lives. Steelhead are also indomitable swimmers, sometimes leaping falls as high as 12 feet! For these reasons, annual summer steelhead snorkel surveys take place throughout multiple remote watersheds in order to document the presence and abundance of these fish. Pictured is Jon Grunbaum, Fisheries Biologist for the Happy Camp Ranger District on the Klamath River. He has been documenting these fish in the Klamath Mountains since 1994.

Photographer: Jacob Pounds