Yeah! ..... they do!! Salmon /Trout - what's the difference? Most salmonid's with a lake-run history have a gray green top and silvery sides with some spots scattered around. But, that's not quite the whole of it. Some bend a rod better, some are a bit on the shy side, and some ??? are preferred table fare. Oh! .... there are a few other minor applicable considerations such as size/slot limits, creel limits, some seasonal restrictions and, a few tackle constraints. NYS's neighborly Conservation Officers are aware of these differences so "Catch and Release" is recommended in questionable situations.
ELOSTA wishes to thank New York Sea Grant for the use of the "Fish Art" depicting the various salmon and trout species currently found in Lake Ontario. These exceptional images were painted by local artist Peter Thompson in a cooperative effort between NY Sea Grant and the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. They are provided here for angler identification purposes only and should not be copied or used without Sea Grant's knowledge.
2012 marks the the tenth consecutive year that the "Volunteer Salmonid Rearing Group" will tend the 5000 +/- "SKAMANIA" temporarily housed in a removable netpen on the Little Salmon River. So - what is a skamania? Scientifically, it is a member of the Genus "Oncorhynchus mykiss" which applies to rainbow trout and the many strains of anadramous steelhead. There are no physiological differences in these fish. The qualities (color, water preferences, spawning cycle, etc.) we are familiar with are the result of response and adaptation to habitat and other environmental influences.
It's mind boggling - there seems to be a steelhead strain named after every creek, river, area, and bay on the west coast. Skamania are included in a summer-run group with Umpque, Siletz, and Rogue strains. Then there is the winter-run strains which include Arlees, Kamloops, Ganaraskas, and, among others, Chambers Creek which is stocked in Lake Ontario. Great Lakes biologists also stock mixtures of these strains that bear the name of their local river/hatchery of origin.
Keep in mind that skamania is a summer-run strain that is more temperature tolerant. Three year old fish should appear in the Eastern Basin in June. Little Salmon River fish can be readily identified by the left pectoral and adipose fin clips (LP/A).