Lake Ontario Rainbow Trout

The rainbow trout was first brought in to Lake Ontario from the Pacific coastline back in 1870.  Their ability to handle waters that are warmer than the temperatures usually found in other lakes and rivers enabled these fish to grow and flourish.  As they grew in size their popularity also increased among anglers.

The hatchery located in the Salmon River is the premier location for the rainbow trout’s raising.  The New York DEC will locate the spawning fish and begin to collect eggs.  Although the rainbow trout has begun to naturally reproduce, the numbers are not enough to keep the fish population viable.

Current Rainbow Trout Record

The existing record for a rainbow trout caught in the state of New York was set in 2004 from an angler out of Ohio.  That fish measured 39 inches in length and topped the scales at 31 pounds and 3 ounces.  This fish broke the previous record that was set in 1985.  And every year there are several anglers pulling rainbow trout out of Lake Ontario that are better than 20 pounds.

Angling Techniques for Rainbow Trout

Because of the large size of the fish it can be really exciting to tackle one of these rainbow trout.  The most popular and productive techniques involve the use of spoons on down riggers that drop down to depths of 40 to 70 feet.  Other ways to get the lures down to the appropriate depths involve dipsey divers or flatlines rigged with dropweights.

The Rainbow Trout Spawn

The rainbow trout start to move up the tributaries beginning in the late fall period up until the early parts of winter.  Since their run takes place after the King and Coho Salmon the rainbow trout will eat the eggs left behind by the salmon.   This feeding period makes for great fishing.  Rainbow trout are known for their acrobatic jumps and tough runs, making the whole experience quite enjoyable.

Rainbow trout eat on a broad array of items.  In the quick moving waters of the streams worms, crayfish, nymphs and snails are frequent targets.  In addition, certain insets like caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies can make a quick meal.  Once the Rainbow trout reach the lake they typically eat alewives and smelt