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‘Spotting’ Salmonids: Put Your fish ID skills To The Test!

Idaho is home to many salmonid (trout, salmon, and whitefish) species, and it can be tricky to know who is who! These fishes are really important to the streams and lakes they thrive in and to the people who rely on them. So when you are out fishing, knowing your stuff can be helpful for protecting fish populations and even keep you out of trouble with regulations. 

Below are some (but not all!) of the common Idaho salmonids you may encounter when fishing, do you think you’ve got what it takes to “spot” the species? Here are some helpful identification hints before you begin: 

  • Seek the spots: Body color can be variable between individual fish, but usually spot patterns are consistent by species, so when in doubt, seek the spots!
  • Sometimes, it is just black and white: for salmon, look for black or white coloration inside their mouth and their gumline. It can help you tell the difference between species.

Good luck! 

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