Scientific Name
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Rainbow Trout
Image Credit
20-60 centimetres (8-24 inches)
0.5-6.8 kilograms (1-15 pounds)
  • introduced into the Great Lakes from the Pacific Coast
  • widely distributed in the Great Lakes and their tributaries, and in some inland lakes
  • silver body with many small dark spots
  • radiating rows of spots over tail
  • mouth and gums often white
  • pink lateral stripe often present
  • leading anal fin ray extends the length of the fin
  • long, stocky caudal peduncle (where body joins the tail)
  • Great Lakes variety is larger
  • inland lakes variety has a more prominent pink stripe
  • cold streams, some warm streams
  • swift, turbulent water
  • can live in a range of conditions in rivers, ponds and lakes
Angling Tips
  • popular for its fighting ability, dash and beauty
  • found in spring in warmer, near-shore areas like river and harbour mouths, off sandy and gravelly windward shorelines
  • descend to cooler depths in the summer
  • will rise to a dry fly, floated downstream with the current
  • take a range of spinners and plugs, salmon egg baits and yarn flies
  • in the Great Lakes, try trolling spoons and minnow-imitating plugs
Common Bait
  • spoons, spinners, plugs
  • worms, flies, roe