Rainbow Trout or Oncorhynchus mykiss are stunning pond fish for stocking ponds. Rainbows are identified by their small dark spots on a lighter background. Their backs are an olive green fading to a silvery belly and their sides show their characteristic pink to red band that stretches from the mouth to the tail.
Rainbow trout live about 7 years and can exceed 20 inches in an ideal environment. Rainbow trout spawn in streams in early spring.
Females violently excavate a nest or redd in the gravel while a male guards her. They swim into the redd together fertilizing the eggs as they fall to the bottom.
The male leaves and the females covers the nest with some gravel from upstream before leaving. The eggs hatch within 60 days. The young feed on zooplankton and work their way up to insects, crayfish and smaller fish.
Rainbow trout have a high oxygen demand compared to other fish and prefer water cooler than 70F. Because of their high oxygen demand rainbow trout must generally be delivered to your pond to ensure survival.
Check with your state natural conservation department for a list of suppliers and any necessary permit requirements.