ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rainbow Trout

Updated on December 18, 2015

Rainbow Trout of North America

The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), is one of the most respected and sought after game fish of North America.

The species occurs in both freshwater and saltwater. Sea run rainbow trout, called steelhead are anadromous; they return to their original hatching ground to spawn.

Rainbow trout are named for the reddish stripe along their sides. Mature males who are ready to spawn have the most pronounced red striping while the females are much less dramatic in coloration. The body is usually dark on top with silver flanks and lighter undersides.

rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss
rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

Rainbow Trout

The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), occur as both freshwater resident and sea-run races.

These colorful trout are native to western North America from the Aleutian Islands to northern Mexico, but have been widely introduced to waters throughout North America and the rest of the world.

A typical life cycle of this species begins with a stream for spawning followed by a larger body of water for maturation.

Rainbow trout prefer cold, clear, swift-moving water to live in. They are commonly found in water around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, but can tolerate temperatures up to 75 degrees. They cannot tolerate low oxygen levels.

Rainbow trout are voracious feeders willing to strike a wide variety of lures, baits, and flies. Weighted spinners and wobbling spoons are preferred by many anglers. Fly fishermen often use streamers, muddlers, and egg patterns in black and red.

A colorful variant of the rainbow trout is the golden rainbow trout. Golden rainbows have golden-yellow bodies, pinkish lower fins, and a reddish lateral stripe. Golden rainbow trout lack spots on the body or fins. This unique form of rainbow trout originated in West Virginia's hatchery system. Through selective breeding, an all-gold strain was established.

Both wild and farmed rainbow trout is popular in Western cuisine for its tender flesh and distinctive flavor. Cooks should avoid overcooking rainbow trout. It has the best texture and flavor when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Wild rainbow trout have a reputation as being the best table fare. Red, Pink or orange meat indicates either an anadromous steelhead or farmed trout given a supplemental diet with a high astaxanthin content.

Steelhead Rainbow Trout
Steelhead Rainbow Trout

Steelhead Trout

Sea-going rainbows, known as steelhead trout, are anadromous: they return to their original hatching ground to spawn.

Steelhead survive after spawning, usually returning to the ocean to start the anadromous cycle once again.

Steelhead meat is said to be more flavorful than meat of wild or farmed freshwater rainbow trout.

redband trout
redband trout

Redband Trout

Redband trout are a subspecies of rainbow trout, historically found east of the Cascades. The redband's current distribution is limited as environmental factors have resulted in population declines. These unique trout typically reach about 10 inches in length.

Rainbow Trout Aquaculture

About 500,000 metric tons of rainbow trout are raised each year in aquaculture facilities in the United States and Europe.

In the USA, some 1,000 trout farms produce approximately $80 million of trout annually, mostly in Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.

Trout Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      7 years ago

      love to fish for rainbows, gotta sneak up on em though....RWJR

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)