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Common Fish Species of Northwestern Ontario

MAMMALS

BIRDS

REPTILES

INSECTS

   
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Rainbow Trout
"Steelhead"

Rainbow Trout

Description

Distinguishing Features - Dark spots on a silvery background with a characteristic rainbow stripe; tail is triangular and sharply pointed.

Size - Average Weight - 1 - 2.5 kg (2 - 5 lb) but catches of over 5 kg (10 lb) are common. The Ontario record is 13.21 kg (29.13 lb).

Habitat

Originally a Pacific Coast species, the rainbow has been widely stocked in Ontario and is primarily a lake fish. Spawning occurs after the spring break-up when the fish migrate upstream to gravel beds.

Notes

The rainbow trout is a highly regarded gamefish. The difference between the rainbow trout and the steelhead trout is the rainbow lives its entire life in streams. The steelhead is the migratory form of the rainbow trout--meaning it's a rainbow that hatches in a stream or river, migrates to the lake where it lives, feeds, and grows, then migrates back to the original river to spawn. Unlike Pacific salmon, a percentage of these fish survive the spawn and make the migration several times in a lifetime.


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