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Species Index Game and Fish Home

Rainbow trout
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Identifying Characteristics

Uniform black spots
White tips on fins
Distinguished from cutthroat by the presence of white tips on fins
Distinguished from kokanee by 11 anal fin rays versus 13 to 15 for kokanee
May have faint red or orange slash on lower jaw
Rainbow trout image 
Other Information
Rainbow trout are native to Pacific coast and have been introduced widely to Wyoming. The rainbow, like the cutthroat, is a spring spawner. Since these two species are fairly close relatives, hybridization often occurs. Because of this, rainbow are no longer being stocked in waters containing native populations of cutthroat trout.

Rainbow prefer cool, clear water, either streams or lakes, with maximum water temperatures below seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Food of the rainbow trout in lakes is mainly plankton, but they also eat aquatic insects, snails, crayfish, and freshwater shrimp. Larger rainbow prey on small fish. The primary food in streams is aquatic insects.

Rainbow trout image
Angling Tips
Rainbows are readily caught with spinning, bait, and fly-fishing gear.

Rainbow trout image