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Rainbow trout illustration

Rainbow Trout

North Dakota Game Species

Trout Family: In North Dakota, members of the trout family are all introduced. Trout are beautiful fish, sporty to catch and fine eating. North Dakota habitat does not provide the conditions for trout to spawn and reproduce successfully. They must be grown in a hatchery and stocked into area lakes.

Rainbow Trout Identification

  • Varies in coloring, but usually has pinkish streaks on its sides and small black spots on its sides, fins and tail
  • 9-12 rays in its anal fin


The rainbow trout has been widely stocked in North Dakota and has been the most successful.

Rainbows prefer colder water temperatures and are most active in winter, spring and fall in most lakes.

They grow well in the Missouri River System, but have also done well in some smaller lakes.

Trout are powerful fighters.