Redband Trout

Redband Trout are a subspecies of the Rainbow Trout. As the name suggests, these fish have a rosy red stripe along the lateral line to a brick red lateral band (especially in spawning males) with tints of yellow or orange along the ventral region. Other identification clues include large, profuse black spots over the body and fins (except pectoral), and brilliant red gill covers. The Redband Trout is similar in appearance to the Rainbow Trout, but has larger, more rounded spots and parr marks that remain into adulthood. Redband Trout that live in streams frequently have an orange cutthroat mark under their jaws.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Oncorhynchus mykiss
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
6-11 Years
SIZE
6-11 ” | 0.5-3 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Unprotected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Redband Trout are a subspecies of Rainbow Trout and exist in two well-defined geographic regions. The Columbia River Redband Trout is found in Montana, Washington, and Idaho, while the Great Basin Redband Trout is found in southeastern Oregon and parts of California and Nevada. Redband Trout in Nevada are found within three major basins of the Snake River watershed, the Bruneau River basin, the Salmon Falls basin, and the Jarbidge River basin, all within Elko County. In the Jarbidge River basin, the Jarbidge River and tributaries, and the East Jarbidge River and tributaries are the dominant waters containing Redband Trout. Redband Trout are often found coexisting with Bull Trout in the Jarbidge River basin.

Threats

  • Common Carp
  • Dams
  • Grazing
  • Hybridization/Introgression
  • Mining
  • Recreation
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Timber Harvest
  • Water Diversion

Natural History

Redband Trout are native to the states touching the Pacific Ocean. Before Europeans settled in the west, Redband Trout traveled up stream to rivers in Idaho and Montana, then down into Nevada. Redbands will feed on emerging insects and smaller fish.

Fun Facts

Redbands have shown extreme tolerance to water conditions which other trout normally wouldn't adapt to. Some strains can grow much larger than others depending on their habitat.