Thursday, March 12, 2015

STEELHEAD ON THE MOVE- WATER TEMPS OR PHOTOPERIOD?


(let there be more light!)

The big question is what will affect steelhead migrations most this year after a hard winter and bitter cold and ice lake water and river temperatures. 

Biologists know a good amount about water temps and its affect on spring spawning movement / migrating steelhead. But steelhead need to be in the "right place at the right time" for nature's propagation of the species given to them over millions of years of forming a 'life survival strategy' for evolutionary success. 

BUT!....over the past 20 years of  guiding and writing about these creatures- in all seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter- 365!, I have concluded that photo light period measured by the fish's Pineal gland as the internal time clock for regulation of light and melatonin to be the more overpowering critical factor.

I have seen fresh run chrome migrations in bitter cold February days after full moon cycles that increased photoperiod- water temps 34F. Length of increasing daylight is also genetically imprinted in smolts and gene pools.

I firmly believe that natural selection molds variables. With global climate change at a rapid pace, temperature extremes are much more common and less reliant by the steelhead to align with temperature seasonal variations. Mama nature/ the almighty God is a great adjuster- used to being in the insurance business of insuring species success and life survival. 

Given these extreme variables, me-thinks someone out there should be doing their doctoral thesis on this current rapid fluctuation phenomenon- the steelhead are doing it on their own...ahhh- thank you  they are probably saying "ah, we got it covered mate!- savvy?

Could be a massive run/or?- this is truly an engaging time and we are all taking notes- even the biologists ! 

NOTE: Still have a few good dates available for what will be a very long and dragged out spring run- fish are a steady push now- Lake Michigan cold water temps never rebounded from last year!- thats why the quick solid freeze- global warming!