Steelhead Study

The McIntyre River projects are cooperative ventures between the North Shore Steelhead Association (NSSA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources. The main objective of the work involved on this system is to monitor the status or health of the rainbow trout population.

Two projects had been ongoing for a number of years. One of the projects was the Adult Rainbow Trout Fish Counter Project, which was utilized until 2008, when the counter was determined to be unreliable. The other project is the YOY Rainbow Trout Monitoring Project, which has been performed sporadically over the last few years.


The McIntyre River is a coldwater tributary of Lake Superior that flows through the city of Thunder Bay. It supports a naturally reproducing salmonid community consisting of resident brook trout and migratory steelhead.

How The Study Was Carried Out

Four anglers from the North Shore Steelhead Association (NSSA), Randy Beamish, Terry Kosolowski, Wes Bender and Keith Ailey, conducted the data collection through angling from 2008 to 2013.

Adult Population

The adult steelhead population in the McIntyre River has undergone a significant change since the early 2000's (Figure 1). Following the daily limit reduction from five to one fish over 69 cm total length in 1999, a strong year class was produced in 2004.

Life History Strategies

McIntyre River adult steelhead have a wide range of life history strategies for both stream and lake years. During their first one to three years, the juveniles reside in their home tributary prior to migrating (smolting) to Lake Superior.


The spawning migration in the McIntyre River usually begins in late March to mid-April and extends into the first week of June, with the bulk of fish entering from mid-April to May.


PO Box 10237
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7E 6T7

(807) 475-7712
(807) 475-7712