occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: Columbia River basin east of the Cascades to barrier falls on the Kootenay, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Snake rivers; the upper Fraser River basin above Hell's Gate; and Athabasca headwaters of the Mackenzie River basin, where headwater transfers evidently occurred from the upper Fraser River system (Behnke 1992). Native redband trout of Mackenzie's Liard and Peace drainages may be this subspecies (Behnke 1992). Native trout of the Oregon desert basins and the Upper Klamath Lake basin could be included in this subspecies (Behnke 1992).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Comments: Winter habitat includes deep pools with extensive amounts of cover in third-order mountain streams (Muhlfeld et al. 2001). Summer surveys indicated that low-gradient, medium-elevation reaches with an abundance of complex pools are critical areas for production (Muhlfeld et al. 2001).
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
In the Kootenai River drainage, Montana, 23 redband trout monitored from October to December had home ranges of 5-377 m (mean 67 m) (Muhlfeld et al. 2001).
Comments: Eats aquatic insects, crustaceans, and zooplankton; also other fishes and fish eggs; may defend feeding area. Adult migrants seldom feed in freshwater.
Life History and Behavior
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: T4 - Apparently Secure
Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Comments: In the Columbia River basin, nearly all upriver and many lower river stocks have declined, though most Snake River native stocks appear to be improving after having declined (Nehlsen et al. 1991).
Comments: Snake River native stocks are threatened by mainstem passage problems (e.g., dams), inadequate water flows, and habitat degradation (Nehlsen et al. 1991). Many stocks in the Columbia River basin are threatened by mainstem passage problems, habitat damage (due to logging, road construction, mining, agriculture, and grazing, which decrease water quality and increase siltation), and interactions with hatchery fishes (Nehlsen et al. 1991). Dams cause problems for migrants via mortality in turbines, increased predation in impoundments and below dams, and loss of migratory motivation in the impoundments (Spahr et al. 1991).
Management Requirements: Patterns of genetic structure in populations in the upper Columbia River drainage indicate that watershed-specific broodstocks are needed by fisheries managers for reintroduction or supplementation of populations at risk of extinction (Knudsen et al. 2002).
Needs: See Nehlsen et al. (1991) for general protection and management recommendations for anadromous salmonids.
Redband trout is a fish name that may be a synonym for the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, but is also used more narrowly for inland subspecies with well-defined geographical distributions in the United States. These include Columbia River redband trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdnerii, found in Montana, Washington and Idaho, Oncorhynchus mykiss stonei found in small tributaries of the McCloud River as well as similar fish in the Pit River system—the McCloud and Pit are tributaries of California's Sacramento River -- and the Great Basin redband trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii, found in southeastern Oregon, and parts of California and Nevada on the periphery of the Great Basin, but not the deep interior where Cutthroat Trout -- Oncorynchus clarkii -- are endemic. Redband trout are prized game fish.
Throughout its distribution, the redband trout has been facing declines due to altered or destroyed habitats, introduction of exotic and hatchery raised fish species, and seasonal drought. However, as of 2000, the population of Great Basin redband trout was not a candidate for listing as threatened or endangered by the standards established by the United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service.
Physical characteristics 
The redband trout is generally similar in appearance to the rainbow trout but can be differentiated by having larger, more rounded spots, parr marks that tend to remain into adulthood, are more orange-red around the lateral line, and have very distinct white tips on the anal, dorsal, and pectoral fins. They will exceed 10 inches (25 cm) at maturity, which they reach within 3 years. Both redband trout subspecies find their ideal habitat in clean, cool, relatively small and low gradient streams, but are capable of enduring higher water temperatures (75–80 °F; 24–27 °C) than other trout that may co-habit the same streams. As with other trout, they feed on insects, crustaceans, and forage fish depending on their size.
Redband trout spawn from late April through mid-June depending on water temperatures and levels. The fry (young fish) typically emerge from the gravel in which the eggs were laid in mid-July.
Further reading 
- Behnke, R.J. 1992. Native Trout of Western North America. American Fisheries Society Monograph 6. Bethesda, MD. (From the American Fisheries Society Website: This book results from almost four decades of research and practical experience with this group of fishes. This work addresses the evolution, taxonomy, and present distributions of members of this group of fishes (cutthroat, rainbow, Gila, and related indigenous troutof the West), and proposes a conservation philosophy to sustain them.)
- Muhlfield, Clint. [n.d.] Status of Redband Trout in Montana (This document, written by an agent from Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and found on the website of the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, provides a concise overview of the status, characteristics, threats and management practices of the Redband trout.)
- Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-399). Passed October 30, 2000. (While not an officially designated threatened or endangered species, the Redband Trout is recognized as important resource, and this law sets aside land in Oregon for protection and research of Redband Trout.)
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Formerly known as Salmo gairdneri gairdneri (Smith and Stearley 1989), but this taxon is closely related to Pacific salmon and is conspecific with Asiatic steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss mykiss).
Behnke (1992) included in O. m. gairdneri Columbia River and Fraser River redband trout and all closely related forms derived from these, including steelhead populations (but not those included in subspecies irideus and mykiss), populations adapted to lakes (Kamloops trout), and resident stream populations. Native trout of the the Oregon desert basins and the Upper Klamath Lake basin could be placed in this subspecies, or several new subspecies could be recognized (Behnke 1992).
A long history of stocking hatchery rainbow trout of the subspecies irideus in the range of native gairdneri in most drainages of the Columbia River basin east of the Cascade Range has resulted in hybridization between the two subspecies such that pure populations of gairdneri are now relatively rare (Behnke 2002).
Populations in the upper Columbia River drainage exhibit significant genetic divergence of management significance (Knudsen et al. 2002).
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