About the Species
Steelhead trout are a unique species. Individuals develop differently depending on their environment. All 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 that migrate to the ocean typically grow larger than the ones that stay in freshwater. They then return to freshwater to spawn. Steelhead trout are vulnerable to many stressors and threats including blocked access to spawning grounds and habitat degradation caused by dams and culverts. One distinct population segment is listed as endangered and 10 DPS’ and 1 experimental non-essential population are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA Fisheries is committed to conserving and protecting steelhead trout. Our scientists and partners use a variety of innovative techniques to study, learn more about, and protect this species.
- Southern California DPS
- California Central Valley DPS
- Central California coast DPS
- Lower Columbia River DPS
- Middle Columbia River
- Northern California DPS
- Puget Sound DPS
- Snake River Basin DPS
- South-Central California coast DPS
- Upper Columbia River DPS
- Upper Willamette River DPS
ESA Experimental Population
- Middle Columbia River XN
Throughout the west coast, 11 species of steelhead are protected under the Endangered Species Act. The West Coast Region works with its partners to protect, conserve, and recover steelhead by addressing the threats these animals face and by restoring the habitat on which they depend.
Recovery plans identify actions needed to restore threatened and endangered species to the point that...
2016 5-Year Review : Summary & Evaluation of Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Hood Canal Summer-run Chum Salmon Puget Sound Steelhead
Many West Coast salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus sp.) stocks have declined substantially from their...
Final Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan for California Coastal Chinook Salmon, Northern California Steelhead and Central California Coast Steelhead
The California Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan was developed for three salmon and steelhead species:...
On February 6, 2015, we announced the initiation of five-year reviews for 17 ESUs of salmon and 11 DPSs...