Oncorhynchus mykiss

Market Name(s): Rainbow trout, golden trout, Steelhead

Contact Purchasing
  • Primary Source: Idaho, Washington, California.
  • Season: Year-round
  • Primary Fishing Method: Farmed

Size Range:

Avg. Size: 1-2 lbs, but golden trout slightly larger.

Product forms:

FRESH, FROZEN: 8 and 10-oz. boned trout head-on or off; 6, 8 or 10 oz. skin-on, boneless fillets; head-on whole fish.


Storage & Handling

Fresh trout has a shelf life of 7 days in ice at 32°F. Frozen fish and fillets held at -5 to -15°F will last six months to a year.

Cooking Suggestions

Trout has a delicate flavor that benefits from milder ingredients. That said, it can be cooked in a very wide variety of ways. It can be poached, pan-fried, sautéed, stuffed and even wrapped in leaves and grilled. The skin of trout is not only edible, but also a tasty contrast to the tender flesh.

Selling Points

  • Rainbow trout has an almost universal appeal as a gourmet fish.
  • Very consistent supply, consistent quality and consistent pricing.
  • Smoked trout are an excellent appetizer.


  • Muddy flavor with fish grown in fresh water
  • Poorly trimmed fillets
  • Dry skin
  • Bones in boneless fillets

The Pacific Advantage

  • High-volume use of trout in our distribution network results in volume purchasing advantage, quick turnover and consistent supply of product
  • Partnerships with leading trout producers mean highest-quality product at most competitive prices


An extremely hardy and adaptable member of the Salmonid family, rainbow trout have been farmed throughout the world for hundreds of years. Their delicate flesh and clean taste have made this fish a favorite of chefs and consumers from Paris to Peoria.

In the U.S., where rainbows have been farmed for more than 100 years, one state, Idaho, produces 80% of the U.S. harvest, although small rainbow trout farms are found in nearly every state.

Rainbows are usually grown to a size of about a pound or two in earthen ponds or concrete raceways. It takes about 10 to 12 months to grow a rainbow to a harvestable size. In the wild, rainbow trout can grow quite large, reaching 50 pounds in size.

Dominated by a handful of producers, U.S. trout farmers grow about 25,000 tons of rainbow trout year in and year out. In Idaho, available water rights, rather than market demand, are the primary limitation to increased production.

Many trout farms heat shock their eggs, which prevents spawning and produces all female populations. Having all one sex provides more consistent growth rates and more consistent sizes.

Although it’s called boned trout, small whole rainbows are sold pinbone-in, head-on.

Some U.S. farmers have bred a strain of rainbows with a gold-colored skin. Called golden trout, these fish are normally raised to a size of about 2-3 pounds.

While there’s some confusion between rainbow trout and steelhead, they’re essentially the same fish. The difference is their size: farmed and wild steelhead are the same size as salmon, while farmed rainbows rarely exceed 2 pounds.

Rainbow trout grown outside Idaho normally sell for more because these farms are smaller and have higher.