Winter steelhead are an ocean going form of Rainbow Trout native to the cold water rivers along western North America and the Russian far east. Winter steelhead are born in freshwater rivers, migrate downstream as juvenile fish to the Pacific Ocean, and then return to their natal stream to spawn. Adult winter steelhead return to freshwater rivers during the winter months (hence their common name, winter steelhead) and spawn during the spring. Unlike Pacific Salmon, steelhead do not die after spawning. Winter steelhead tend to be most abundant in rivers 150 miles or less from the ocean.