Salgair: A Steelhead Odyssey


92 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 0-88839-420-9
DDC C813'.54




Illustrations by Kari Rust
Reviewed by Matt Hartman

Matt Hartman is a freelance editor and cataloguer, running Hartman Cataloguing, Editing and Indexing Services.


Thornton, a well-respected B.C. fishing writer, has written a steelhead
primer in the guise of a novella. The story of Salgair, from alevin and
fry to maturity, is full of scientific detail on this prized anadromous
trout, which spends the major part of its life in the sea. Thornton
explains, for example, how the fish, before beginning its odyssey from
fresh to salt water, “began chemically imprinting his home river and
his home pool. This imprinting would be so strong that the unique
chemical blend of smells would remain with him forever on his journey
over thousands of kilometres and many years to the North Pacific

This anthropomorphizing of a fish will make interesting reading in a
school or public library. The book is well illustrated with Kari
Rust’s drawings, and contains a useful glossary of scientific
steelhead terminology. Recommended.


Thornton, Barry M., “Salgair: A Steelhead Odyssey,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024,