Thousands of rainbow and golden rainbow trout are stocked in lakes and streams around the state each week during the spring. These two fish might be the most popular in all of West Virginia, but have you ever wondered what makes them different?

Download this coloring sheet and teach your kids about rainbow and golden rainbow trout.

As your kids color in their fish, share these facts with them and quiz them to see how much they know about rainbow and golden rainbow trout.

Rainbow trout

Rainbow trout are known for their blue-green coloring and patterns, as well as a distinct pink-reddish line down the length of their body. They love cold mountain streams, eat insects, crustaceans and small fish, can grow up to 30 inches and weigh 6-8 pounds.

They’re also popular game fish and are part of the Trout in the Classroom program to teach schoolchildren about environmental stewardship.

Question 1: Do you know what family of fish rainbow trout belong to?

A. Trout
B. Salmon
C. Sunfish

Highlight below for the answer.

Rainbow trout are a species of trout and members of the salmon family, which consists of ray-finned fish such as salmon, char and freshwater whitefish.

Golden rainbow trout

The golden rainbow trout has a brilliant, yellow body unlike any other fish in the world. But like the rainbow trout, golden rainbows have the same distinct pink-reddish stripe along its body.

Question 2: How are golden rainbow trout related to rainbow trout?

A. Same family
B. Cousins
C. Both A and B

Highlight below for the answer.

Golden rainbows are a mutated strain of rainbow trout, making them members of the same family and very close cousins.

The golden rainbow trout was discovered in 1955 when a DNR fisheries biologist noticed a yellow-mottled fish swimming with rainbow trout at the Petersburg Hatchery. The fish was studied and went on to produce offspring with golden scales and the rest is history.

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