Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Columbia River Redband Trout - Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri

Google for more images Google for web pages
Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5T4
State Rank: S1

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS: SENSITIVE
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 1


 

External Links





 
General Description
Interior redband trout are a native trout of western North America. There is considerable variation in the life history in this group of trout. Resident stream populations are found throughout the Columbia River basin. A lake variation known as kamloops are found in some larger lakes in the Columbia and Frasier River (British Columbia) basins. A third variation is the steelhead that migrated from the ocean as far as the upper Snake River, Idaho (almost 1000 miles) (Behnke 1992).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Characteristics vary considerably among populations of Montana's stream-resident redband trout, but generally they can be differentiated from the non-native coastal rainbow trout by larger more rounded spots, parr marks that tend to remain into adulthood and are more orange-red around the lateral line surrounded by greenish-yellow, rather than pink-red around the lateral line surrounded by dark green and silver like coastal rainbow trout. Redband trout also have very distinct white tips on the anal, dorsal and pectoral fins.

Species Range
Montana Range

Click the legend blocks above to view individual ranges.

Western Hemisphere Range

 


Migration
Redbands are typically a stream-resident fish that make short spawning migrations either in the same stream or often into smaller tributaries.

Habitat
Redband trout prefer cool, clean, relatively low gradient streams but, in some circumstances, are able to withstand wider temperature variations than their cousins the westslope cutthroat trout.

Food Habits
Interior redband trout feed mainly on aquatic insects but eat what is available to them. Large adults also eat fish. River populations are mostly insect eaters, while zooplankton and forage fish are important in Lake Koocanusa.

Ecology
Populations of native redband trout, westslope cutthroat trout and introduced coastal rainbow trout coexist in the Kootenai River drainage. Interestingly, redbands have hybridized with westslope cutthroat trout in some drainages and these crosses are considered to be naturally occurring and historic. Hybridization between redbands and rainbows, on the other hand, is considered to be a danger to the continued existence of redband trout.

Reproductive Characteristics
Interior redband trout reach sexual maturity in 2 to 3 years. They spawn from late April through mid-June, depending on water temperatures. The fry typically emerge from the gravel in mid-July.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View WorldCat Record   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Antonelli, A.L., R.A. Nussbaum and S.D. Smith. 1972. Comparative food habits of four species of stream-dwelling vertebrates (Dicamptodon ensatus, D. copei, Cottus tenius, Salmo gairdnei) Northwest Science 46: 277-289.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Columbia River Redband Trout"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Columbia River Redband Trout — Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AFCHA02092
 
There are currently 8 active users in the Montana Field Guide.