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The Rainbow trout is larger than many other varieties of the fish. There was long a misunderstanding surrounding the Rainbow trout. Scientists use to think that the steel head sea-run rainbow and the non-migratory freshwater rainbow were two different fish. Today, they are recognized as one in the same.

What do they look like?
The term “rainbow” is somewhat a misnomer. They are not all different colors. Rather, they have broad band of pinkish-lavender that runs the length of the lateral line. It extends over the gill covers and the cheeks. The upper sides are the same sort of greenish-bronze found on the brook and brown trouts. However, different from those two, the rainbow trout has a stark white underbelly. During spawing time the rainbow becomes much darker.

How do they behave?
Their spawning time occurs much earlier than the brook and brown trout. The rainbow trout will spawn anywhere from Febuary to mid-June. There are many factors that determine when in that period that they will actually spawn. Things such as altitude, latitude, pretty much anything that effects the water temperature. Rainbow fish can spawn yearly, however, most rainbow trout found spawning, tend to be first time spawners. They tend to lay the eggs in flowing water to be sure that the eggs are provided with ample oxygen.

What do you need to know?
The rainbow fish will sea-run given the opportunity. Since most rainbow do not have that opportunity, most are referred to as non-migratory. However, they also tend toward the down stream. They look for big waters. In the eastern streams they sometimes end of up one of the Great Lakes. Most big hatcheries have stopped stocking it in the streams since, inevitably it ends up in the big lakes.