When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Your State? (Explained)

when do rainbow trout spawn

Love rainbow trout? Here’s when you can expect to see them spawning in your state! As we all know, trout are beautiful fish that come in various colors – from natural olive green to bright reds and yellows. So, when do rainbow trout spawn?

In this blog post, we will look at one of the most famous trout species – the rainbow trout. Specifically, we’ll explore when they typically spawn in different states. Keep reading to learn more!

What Months Do Trout Spawn? 

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn? If you want to experience the thrill of watching trout swim around looking for partners, then head out into spring. The rainbow trout is most active during this period and will be spawning its eggs in lakes or streams across North America!

Rainbow Trout Spawning Temperature 

The ideal spawning temperature for rainbow trout is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the state you live in, this can mean that the fish will start to spawn as early as late March or as late as early June.

Keep in mind that the timing of the trout spawn can also be affected by the altitude of the water. 

For example, in states like Colorado, rainbow trout may not start spawning until late May or early June because the higher elevation lakes are frozen.

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn? By State 

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What months do trout spawn?”, let’s take a more detailed look at when rainbow trout spawn in each state.

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Montana? 

You can expect to see rainbow trout populations as early as late April if you live in Montana. The spawning fish will continue to pre-spawn throughout May and into early June.

The rainbow trout is a popular sportfish found in many states. It usually hatches its eggs between April and July. 

Depending on the water temperature, -50 degrees Fahrenheit means it will take about 50 days for these little ones to become visible from when they’re fertilized!

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Idaho? 

The time of year when rainbow trout are most likely to spawn has changed.

In Idaho, rainbow trout spawn in early spring as daylight increases and water temperatures rise towards their peak levels for this fly fishing season, upriver or downstream from where you live!

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Wyoming? 

Wyoming’s rainbow trout usually spawn a little later than in other states. The fish will start breeding in mid-to-late May and continue into early June.

This is because the water temperatures in Wyoming’s lakes and streams take longer to reach the ideal spawning temperature of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Oregon? 

Oregon’s rainbow trout usually start spawning in late April or early May. The fish will continue to spawn throughout May and into early June.

As with other states, the exact time of year when rainbow trout spawn can vary depending on the altitude of the water.

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Colorado? 

Colorado’s rainbow trout usually start spawning in late May or early June. The fish will continue to spawn throughout June and into early July.

When the magic temperatures are reached, Colorado’s Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout spawn every spring (anywhere from February to May).

When Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Utah? 

Utah’s rainbow trout usually start spawning in late May or early June. The fish will continue to spawn throughout June and into early July.

The Utah Rainbows are a unique rainbow trout that spend their lives in rivers and streams. They only migrate when it’s time to spawn, which occurs between March and May at lower latitudes (as seen here).

The offspring will stay close by for one or two years before migrating downstream, where they can grow even larger!

When Does Rainbow Trout Spawn in Ontario?

The rainbow trout is a hardy fish that can withstand cold temperatures. In Ontario, the most popular time for this species to breed and spawn happens during December or April, “when male territoriality reaches its peak levels.”

During the winter months, water temperatures can drop below freezing. The ideal spawning temperature for rainbow trout is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the altitude of the water, it can take up to 50 days for eggs to hatch.

Where Do Trout Lay Their Eggs? (Where Do Trout Spawn?) 

Now that we know when trout spawn, let’s look at where they lay their eggs.

Trout generally like to spawn in clean, gravel bottom streams with a moderate current. The female trout will release her eggs into the streambed, and the male trout will fertilize them.

As the female trout scours shallow waters for an appropriate place to deposit her eggs, she will often create what is called a “redd.” These trenches are cut with tail movements and sandy waste beneath your footing.

The eggs will incubate in the gravel for about 3-5 weeks before hatching.

Once they hatch, the newly hatched trout (called “fry”) will spend the next few weeks in the gravel before emerging and swimming to the surface.

During their first year of life, trout will grow rapidly. By the end of their second year, they will be ready to spawn themselves!

Will Trout Bite When Spawning?

The trout are so devoted to fishing for eggs during spawning season that they’ll often ignore all other types of bait and lures, only biting at egg sacks.

This is excellent news for fly fishers because they can use egg patterns to mimic the trout’s natural food source and increase their chances of a successful catch.

If you’re fishing for brown trout and brook trout during spawning season, don’t be afraid to use an egg pattern! You can get it from any fly shop near you.

Do Fish Feed During Spawning?

While trout are focused on spawning and may not be interested in food, many other fish are still in the sea (or river).

Like shad and herring, B baitfish will often follow trout to lay their own eggs during their upstream migration. These baitfish are an easy target for predators like bass, catfish, and pike.

So, if you’re fishing for trout during spawning season and you’re not having any luck, try targeting one of these other species instead.

What Triggers Rainbow Trout Spawn?

The trout are triggered by natural cues, like the photoperiod and temperature.

Spawning is triggered by increasing day length (photoperiod) and water temperature. This means that trout will start to spawn when spring arrives, and the days begin to get longer.

How Do You Tell If Trout Are Spawning?

If you see a trout swimming close to the bottom of a stream or river, it’s spawning.

Another way to tell if trout are spawning is by looking for their nests, called “redds.” These are small depressions in the shallow gravel where the female trout will lay her eggs.

You can also look for trout eggs in the shallows of a stream or river bottom. These will be small, round, and clear.

Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in the Fall?

Rainbow trout can spawn at any time of year, but they typically spawn in the spring or fall.

Spawning usually takes place in the fall when water temperatures are cooler. This is because the eggs need a period of cold water (called “stratification”) to develop properly.

Do Rainbow Trout Spawn in Spring?

Rainbow trout are in the mood for spawning every spring.

The anadromous variety, also called steelhead or drab-colored rainbow literate fish, will enter a tributary during fall and stay there until winter before leaving to make their way upriver where they find willing partners-in this case, various insects that have been waiting patiently all along!

Mating season starts early, with typically one male recruiting many females into his harem, so each may father several hundred eggs over multiple seasons. However, numbers vary depending upon location, and male and females population density dictates these.

Do Trout Die After Spawning?

No, trout do not die after spawning.

Spawning is a strenuous process that takes a lot out of the fish, but they usually recover quickly and return to normal activities.

In some cases, trout may not survive the spawning process if they are injured or become sick. However, this is not always the case.

What Happens to Trout After They Spawn?

After trout spawn, they migrate from rivers and streams to lakes or even oceans. Like the salmon, they follow their life cycle; trout migrate to larger bodies of water.

Some species even head upriver from streams into lakes or oceans!

The anadromous variety, also called steelhead or drab-colored rainbow trout, will enter a tributary during fall and stay there until winter before leaving to make their way upriver, where they find willing partners.

How Many Times Do Rainbow Trout Spawn?

How Often Do Trout Spawn? Rainbow trout typically spawn every one to three years. The frequency of spawning depends on the species of trout, as well as the environmental conditions.

For example, trout that live in areas with a lot of food may spawn more often than those that live in areas with less food.

How Long Do Rainbow Trout Live?

Rainbow trout typically live for six to eight years.

However, some rainbow trout have been known to live for up to 11 years. The environmental conditions usually determine the average lifespan of rainbow trout.

Can Rainbow Trout Reproduce in a Lake?

Rainbow trout can reproduce in a lake, but they typically prefer to spawn in rivers and streams.

Spawning in lakes is more common among rainbow trout that live in lakes than those in streams or rivers.

There are many lakes and ponds in the United States that contain wild trout. These fish live off their eggs, which they find under rocks or other food sources such as aquatic insects.

The average success rate for these spawning activities can be low, but it still sustains populations throughout North America!


Trout spawning behavior can vary depending on the state in which they are located. However, some general trends apply to most trout species. For example, colder water temperatures seem to trigger trout populations. If you’re looking to catch spawning trout, it’s essential to understand when and where they will be laying their eggs. Want to learn more about fish behavior? So keep reading our guide about when do rainbow trout spawn!

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