Skip to main content

Rainbow Trout Don't Actually Exist

Rainbow Trout Don't Actually Exist
Photo courtesy of US EPA

It may sound crazy, but steelhead and rainbow trout are really the same creature.  More to the point, "rainbow trout" don't actually exist.  Oncorhynchus mykiss is a type of salmon, one whose members sometimes stay in freshwater and sometimes descend to the sea, but those are behavioral decisions, not genetic ones.

If you find such a notion startlingly, your jaw might drop when you read "The Importance of Resident Steelhead (rainbow trout)" by Dick Burge posted on the Wild Steelhead Coalition's website.  The article articulates why healthy resident steelhead populations are essential to recovering ocean-going (anadromous) steelhead populations, then goes on to explain why Washington state's trout angling regulations are hindering steelhead recovery.  Consider this small excerpt:

"Resident steelhead spawn with anadromous steelhead throughout their range... Studies have shown that 20 to 40% of returning anadromous steelhead have at least one resident parent and often have two."

Photo courtesy of US EPA


That's right.  Many wild steelhead have two "rainbow trout" for parents.


For the full article, and to learn more about the Wild Steelhead Coalition's efforts, visit:

http://wildsteelheadcoalition.org/2012/01/the-importance-of-resident-steelhead-rainbow-trout-oncorhynchus-mykiss-in-the-recovery-productivity-genetics-and-population-viability-of-anadromous-steelhead-in-washington-the-need-to-fully-pro/

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

All these tricks can be put to use on poppers or sliders for anything with fins, from panfish to billfish.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim.Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold Trout

Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold

Hilary Hutcheson - July 15, 2020

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim.

You can be a successful freshwater fly fisher with just the nine knots shown here.9 Best Fly Fishing Knots You Should Know Beginners

9 Best Fly Fishing Knots You Should Know

Fly Fisherman Staff | Illustrations by Joe Mahler

You can be a successful freshwater fly fisher with just the nine knots shown here.

Best Panfish Flies Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water.Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader Beginners

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

See More Trending Articles

More News

He left a lasting legacy on the sport of fly fishing.Ed Shenk Influenced Us All Industry

Ed Shenk Influenced Us All

Ross Purnell - April 15, 2020

He left a lasting legacy on the sport of fly fishing.

These awards were created as a way to honor the unsung actions of those who have contributed to flats conservation.Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Announces 2020 Circle of Honor Awards Industry

Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Announces 2020 Circle of Honor Awards

Brian Irwin - February 23, 2021

These awards were created as a way to honor the unsung actions of those who have contributed...

Cast your nominations for the 2021 Conservationist of the Year.2021 Conservationist of the Year Industry

2021 Conservationist of the Year

Fly Fisherman - April 14, 2020

Cast your nominations for the 2021 Conservationist of the Year.

Pebble Mine won't move forward as it's currently proposed.Pebble Mine Shot Down Conservation

Pebble Mine Shot Down

Fly Fisherman Staff - August 25, 2020

Pebble Mine won't move forward as it's currently proposed.

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now