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Colors vary greatly-with patterns depending on habitat, size and maturity. Stream residents and migrant spawners are darker and have more intense colors than lake residents or non-spawners. Lake residents tend to be silvery with subdued colors. A mature rainbow is dark green to bluish on the back with silvery sides. The pinkish to reddish horizontal band typifies the species. The belly may be white to silvery. Irregular and profuse black spots are usually present on the head, back and sides. The pelvic and anal fins are translucent pink to gray-green and tipped in white. Rainbow trout also tend to have a fairly blunt snout. Rainbows range from 12 to 36 inches in length.
Habitat and Range
Rainbows and steelhead occur in well-oxygenated lakes and streams where the temperature normally doesn't rise above 12 degrees C in summer.