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Rainbow Trout illustration

Rainbow Trout

World Record ~ 42 Lbs. 2 oz. Caught at Bell Island, AK on June 22, 1970 by angler David Robert White

Scientific name ~ Oncorhynchus Mykiss 

Other names ~ Bow, Redsides, Steelhead, Red-band Trout, Rainbow, Silver Trout, Steelhead, Kamloops

Identification ~ Rainbow Trout have an elongate, laterally compressed body. A rounded snout, which becomes extended and the lower jaw turns up in spawning males. The back, upper sides and the top of the head are steel blue, blue-green, yellow-green to almost brown. The sides of the Rainbow Trout are silvery, white or pale yellow-green to gray, and marked with a pink blush to red band and many small black spots. The underside is silvery, white or gray to yellowish. The dorsal and caudal fins have radiating rows of black spots, while the remaining fins are buff with few spots.

Size ~ Anglers that fish stream dwelling Rainbow Trout will encounter Rainbow averaging a pound or less and up to 12 inches. Catches of  Rainbow that inhabit larger rivers and lakes can average from 2 to 4 pounds. When Rainbow Trout inhabit very large lakes and an abundant supply of food is available they can reach large sizes but it is rare to encounter a fish over 10 pounds.

Habitat ~ The Rainbow Trout is a cold-water fish species. Temperature tolerance of Rainbow Trout is from 32 F to over 70 F, their ideal temperature range is between 55 and 60 F. The habitat of stream-dwelling rainbow trout is usually small to moderately large, shallow rivers with moderate flow and gravel bottoms, of the pool-riffle type. The lake-resident trout are usually found in moderately deep, cool lakes with adequate shallows and vegetation for good food production. For a lake population to be self-sustaining, there must be a gravelly river to which the adults can migrate during the spawning season. The Rainbow Trout native range was the eastern Pacific Ocean and the freshwater west of the Rocky Mountains, from northwest Mexico to Alaska, but today the Rainbow Trout has been widely introduced to many countries around the world.

Feeding Habits ~ The Rainbow Trout generally feed close to the bottom of its habitat. Adults feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, crustaceans, fish eggs, leeches minnows and other small fishes.

Fishing Prints


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