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Another strange fish that had shown up at Braddock Bay - Lake Ontario [Below]

Deformed Steelie?

Strange Fish from Olcott N.Y.

A deformed "looks like" a steelhead caught locally that has biologists baffled! 

The four photos directly below, submitted by Helen Domske, New York Sea Grant 
Coastal Education Specialist and Great Lakes Program Associate Director

Here is a partial of an email received from Domske regarding these photos:

"I attached pictures of the rainbow trout which was caught off Olcott on September 22nd last year. I thought my friend's son actually caught it, but I was mistaken. He got it from another angler, but he wanted to bring it to me so I could find out what the cause might be. I have sent it to several biologists and most are pretty stumped, but some have seen other rainbows like this come out of Lake Ontario. Hopefully, some of your anglers will have caught similar rainbows. Please keep me posted." Helen

Josh Dickinson, formerly of Lockport NY but now a fishing guide in Colorado and Utah
showing a deformed "looks like" steelhead caught in Olcott NY waters. Josh did not catch it 
but got it from another unidentified angler. After repeated attempts at identifying this 
fish it was determined it was just a deformed steelie and it has biologists baffled

Maybe you can help with it's identity!
Most claim it's a deformed rainbow.
It was caught in Lake Ontario!

Please let me know if you hear anything from other anglers.
email Here

Click on the pictures below for a very large look at this fish!

Josh Helen Domski.jpg (165056 bytes)
Click this picture for a large photo
Look close at the large dorsal fin 
Josh is holding out for you to see.
domski rainbow 2.jpg (145860 bytes)
Look close at the size and shape of the Caudal fin [tail] in comparison to others you have seen. 

Click pic for Large photo

domski rainbow 3.jpg (148121 bytes)
Notice how large the anal fin appears.
Note the pectoral and the pelvics fin appears to be slightly abnormal
[pectoral, behind the gills. Pelvics fin on the belly]

Click pic for Large photo

Here is a email reply from one of our Outdoors Niagara viewers........Please send your thoughts!

These fish show up sporadically in L. Ontario, I have not heard of any in L. Erie. I have seen other pics., read reports, & personally seen these fish. I know for a fact one turned up on one of the piers at Olcott Harbor last fall, & I personally hooked 1 at Burt Dam last October that was only about 17 or 18 in., long- I lost it at my feet, but it definitely had a HUGE tail on it. They seem to be  regular steelhead w/ unusually large fins & tails. I read a thread on the Lakeontariounited board summer or fall of 2006 that had several different pictures & biologic theories about these fish, but it seems they predominantly show up in Western Lake Ontario tribs with no real valid explanation.

Submitted By Cynthia Roswick


deformed steelie.jpg (32370 bytes)

Click the pic!

We fished Oak Orchard creek (for steelies) on New Years day (2008) and my buddy caught this fish with unusually large fins!

I found your site while on a hunt for more info about this deformity.  In my searching I have found a few pix…as a biologist, I can only assume it is a genetic deformity but we did not keep any genetic material from the fish.  I am quite sure it was a steelhead.  I just wish I took more pictures (and better quality)

Next time we will document this phenomenon better.

Brian Forsburg

Rec'd January 3 2008

Click to enlarge

Kent Witkiewitz sent this photo in on February 22 2009 of a strange looking fish he caught in Lake Ontario recently west of Braddock Bay


I noticed that this fish has a dorsal fin quite like an Arctic Grayling. See attached. Not that I would expect a grayling to be in Lake Ontario,


[Mike Gillis, Youngstown NY]

grayling-12.jpg (14669 bytes)

Click for bigger picture