Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Common Names

Rainbow Trout, Rainbow, Bow, Steelhead Trout, Steelhead, Kamloops Trout, Silver Trout

Lake Michigan Sport Catch in Wisconsin

40,000-60,000 per year per year

Preferred Temperature Range

53-57 °F

Length

16-30 inches

Weight

2-16 pounds

State Record

8/19/73: 24 pounds, 4 oz.  Lake Michigan

Identification

Rainbow trout from Lake Michigan have an elongated and slightly compressed body, a squared tail covered with spots, 12 or less rays in the anal fin, and the inside of the mouth white. There are generally small spots on the top of the head and back above the lateral line, including the dorsal and adipose fins. Body color is variable, with the back being darker, ranging from steel blue to green to almost brown; the cheek and sides are silvery, occasionally with a pink to red lateral stripe; and the bottom or belly is silvery white.

Steelhead Coloring (Rainbow Trout)

Steelhead and rainbow trout are essentially the same species of fish. Steelhead is the name given to the silver ocean going form of this species. This species is native to the western U.S. where steelhead inhabit the coastal waters and rainbow trout live in rivers, streams, and lakes.