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/

Recommended for You

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Fly Fisherman's documentary Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere. Fly Tying

Fly Tying Chip's Monster Magic Fly

Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

A backhand cast is when you use your backcast to deliver the fly.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top models on the market today. Gear

Top Drift Boats of 2019

John Fedorka - April 02, 2019

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top...

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones are brightly colored treasures. Trout

Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters

Landon Mayer - April 18, 2018

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones...

See More Stories

More News

Cast your nominations for the 2020 Conservationist of the Year. Conservation

2020 Conservationist of the Year

Fly Fisherman

Cast your nominations for the 2020 Conservationist of the Year.

Resurrecting Hat Creek Conservation

More than a bridge over troubled waters.

Chip O' Brien | Photography by R. Valentine Atkinson - February 11, 2019

Resurrecting Hat Creek

Guide Beer first went on sale in March 2019. Industry

Guide Beer Grant

Ross Purnell - January 23, 2020

Guide Beer first went on sale in March 2019.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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