Steelhead / Rainbow Trout
Rainbow and steelhead trout are harvested in the marine and fresh water sport fisheries and the state and federal subsistence fisheries. Steelhead are also harvested incidentally in the commercial fisheries.
The rainbow and steelhead trout sport fisheries are two of the most popular freshwater sport fisheries in Alaska. The average annual Alaska sport rainbow trout catch estimate from 1999 to 2008 was 773,000 rainbow trout. During that time period, 84% percent of the catch occurred in Southcentral Alaska. On average, 83,000 rainbow trout were harvested annually in the sport fishery from 1999-2008. The average annual Alaska sport steelhead catch estimate from 1999 to 2008 was 30,000 steelhead of which 60% of the catch occurred in Southeast Alaska and 30% from Southcentral Alaska. On average, 432 steelhead were harvested annually in the sport fishery from 1999-2008.
Under the federal and state subsistence fisheries, subsistence harvest of rainbow and steelhead trout are allowed, but only in designated areas.
Comparatively to salmon, fewer rainbow and steelhead trout are harvested in the state and federal subsistence fishery. Differences in harvest levels from year to year are influenced by a number of factors including freshwater and ocean survival, weather, economic and travel considerations, and the level of harvest of other resources.