Rainbow Trout

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Rainbow Trout

Species Information

Scientific Name:Oncorhynchus mykiss
Common Names:rainbow trout, stealhead, steelhead, kamloops, redband trout, Eagle Lake trout, Kern River trout, Shasta trout, San Gorgonio trout, Nelson trout, Whitney trout
Environment:Lake, River, Stream
Ideal Temp:55-70°F (13-21°C)

About Rainbow Trout

The rainbow trout is a species of salmonid native to tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is a sea-run rainbow trout (anadromous) usually returning to freshwater to spawn after two to three years at sea; rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species. The fish are often called salmon trout. Several other fish in the salmonid family are called trout; some are anadromous like salmon, whereas others are resident in freshwater only.

The species has been introduced for food or sport to at least 45 countries, and every continent except Antarctica. In some locations, such as Southern Europe, Australia and South America, they have negatively impacted upland native fish species, either by eating them, outcompeting them, transmitting contagious diseases, (such as whirling disease transmitted by Tubifex) or hybridization with closely related species and subspecies that are native to western North America.

Like salmon, steelheads are anadromous: they return to their original hatching ground to spawn. Similar to Atlantic salmon, but unlike their Pacific Oncorhynchus salmonid kin, steelheads are iteroparous (able to spawn several times, each time separated by months) and make several spawning trips between fresh and salt water. The steelhead smolts (immature or young fish) remain in the river for about a year before heading to sea, whereas salmon typically return to the seas as smolts. Different steelhead populations migrate upriver at different times of the year. "Summer-run steelheads" migrate between May and October, before their reproductive organs are fully mature. They mature in freshwater before spawning in the spring. Most Columbia River steelheads are "summer-run". "Winter-run steelheads" mature fully in the ocean before migrating, between November and April, and spawn shortly after returning. The maximum recorded life-span for a rainbow trout is 11 years.

Rainbow trout are predators with a varied diet, and will eat nearly anything they can grab. Their image as selective eaters is only a legend. Rainbows are not quite as piscivorous or aggressive as brown trout or lake trout (char). Young rainbows survive on insects, fish eggs, and smaller fish (up to 1/3 of their length), along with crayfish and other crustaceans. As they grow, though, the proportion of fish increases in most all populations. Some lake-dwelling lines may become planktonic feeders. While in flowing waters populated with salmonids, trout eat varied fish eggs, including salmon and cutthroat trout, as well as the eggs of other rainbow trout, alevin, fry, smolt and even leftover carcasses.

Rainbow trout and steelhead are both highly desired food and sportfish. A number of angling methods are common. Rainbow trout are a popular target for fly fishers. Spinners, spoons, and small crankbaits can also be used productively, either casting or trolling. Rainbow trout can also be caught on live bait; nightcrawlers, trout worms, and minnows are popular and effective choices. The IGFA recognizes the world record for rainbow trout was caught on Saskatchewan's Lake Diefenbaker by Sean Konrad on September 5, 2009. The fish weighed 48 lb, 0 oz (21.77 kg). Many anglers consider the Rainbow trout the hardest fighting trout species, as this fish is known for leaping when hooked and putting a powerful fight.

Rainbow Trout Fishing

World Record:21.77 kg (48 lb 0 oz) Lake Diefenbaker, Canada
# Fish Caught:69962559 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1650 12:00:00 AM and located at 51.65200, -1.35095.
Latest Record:4/12/2024 3:02:31 AM and located at -31.82141, 115.73853.
Common Techniques:Casting, Fly, Trolling
Popular Lure Types:Crankbaits, Flies, Spinnerbaits, Spoons
Fishing Spots:20448 Rainbow Trout fishing spots.

Latest Rainbow Trout Fishing Reports and Spots

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 12 April 2024 🎣 - 4/12/2024 3:02:31 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 12/04/24 Standard - just your casual weekend in WA surfing (View)

Kenai River fishing 4/11/24 - 4/11/2024 3:36:26 PM

http://jimruskfishingalaska.com Hello Kenai River Anglers well we are almost to mid April here on the Kenai and 2024 fishing season is fast app (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 15 March 2024 🎣 - 3/15/2024 3:34:44 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 15/03/24 Photographic proof of how stunning Hopetoun on th (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 8 March 2024 🎣 - 3/8/2024 2:02:18 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 08/03/24 Ever think about a location to fish that you just (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 1 March 2024 🎣 - 1/3/2024 7:00:00 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 01/03/24 Just another brilliant underwater snap from Blue (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 23 February 2024 🎣 - 2/23/2024 4:00:18 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 23/02/24 Fishing for southern garfish is back on off the P (View)

Kenai River fishing 2024 - 2/26/2024 3:19:00 PM

http://jimruskfishingalaska.com Hello Kenai River Anglers well it is late February here in Alaska and the 2024 Alaska fishing season is just a (View)

Ennis MT Fly Fishing Guides - 3/12/2018 11:29:05 AM

Although we at FishWater Outfitters are still here in the Lowcountry of Charleston SC we have been paying very close attention to all the snow (View)

Madison River Fly Fishing Guides - 3/21/2018 7:54:51 PM

Lower Madison River below BearTrap Canyon The Madison River near Ennis MT is our home river here at FishWater Outfitters! We spend more time on (View)

Madison River Fly Fishing - 8/29/2019 9:00:00 PM

Madison River rainbow! We’ve had a great summer here in Ennis MT!! The river temperatures have remained cool throughout August and the dry fly (View)