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Species (Oncorhynchus mykiss) of fish in the salmon family (Salmonidae) noted for spectacular leaps and hard fighting when hooked. It has been introduced from western North America to many other countries. A brightly coloured fish of lakes and swift streams, it is covered with small black spots and has a reddish band along either side. The steelhead, a large, bluish, oceangoing form, is also a prized game fish. Rainbow trout may weigh 6 lb (2.8 kg); steelheads (and rainbows in large lakes) may weigh 10–20 lb (4.5–9 kg) or more. Another form of rainbow, the Kamloops, or Kootenay, trout of Idaho, may exceed 30 lb (14 kg).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on rainbow trout, visit Britannica.com.