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BC Freshwater Fish

Below is some information about common Freshwater Fish found in the waters of British Columbia. For more information on BC Freshwater Fish, visit the Freshwater Fisheries website Discover Fishing BC.

Rainbow Trout

rainbow trout

  • AKA: Kamloops Trout, Gerrard Trout, Silver Trout, Redband Trout, Steelhead
  • Life Cycle: Anadromous. Rainbow trout spawn from March to August. Their life expectancy is generally 3-4 years.
  • Length: 30-75cm. Max 90cm. Those that run to the sea (known as Steelhead), generally reach a larger size than other rainbows.
  • Weight: 1-7kg. Max 9kg.
  • Largest Ever Caught: 24 kg and came from Jewel Lake, BC.
  • Food: Leeches, crustaceans, molluscs, insects, and salmon eggs when available. Ranbow trout are piscivorous.
  • Home: Eastern Pacific Ocean and the fresh water mainly west of the Rocky Mountains. They have been introduced into New Zealand, Australia, South America, Africa, Japan, southern Asia, Europe and Hawaii.

Lake Trout

lake trout

  • AKA: Char, Grey Trout, Lake Char, Laker
  • Life Cycle: Solitary. Spawn at night from September to November. Lake Trout generally live 5-20 years, but can live to be 40.
  • Length: 45 - 65 cm. Max 125 cm.
  • Weight: 1- 3 kg. Max 21 kg.
  • Largest Ever Caught: 66 pounds, 8 ounces at Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territorie.
  • Food: Other fish such as kokanee, whitefish, burbot, sculpins, and crustaceans, aquatic insects, shore-dwelling minnows, and zooplankton when younger.
  • Home: Northern North America in cold water, most often in deep lakes.

Coastal Cutthroat Trout

coastal cutthroat trout

  • AKA: Yellowbellies, Cutties, Cutts, Harvest Trout, Sea Trout
  • Life Cycle: Coastal Cutthroat Trout spawn from February to May. They migrate to saltwater in late spring and return to freshwater late autumn. They live to be a maximum of 10 years old.
  • Length: Maximum 76cm.
  • Weight: Maximum 7.7kg.
  • Food: Highly predatory, feeding on other fish, eggs, and crustaceans when in the ocean.
  • Home: Southern Alaska to the Eel River in California. Coastal Cutthroat will not be found more than 150km inland.

Westslope Cutthroat Trout

westslope trout

  • AKA: Cutthroat
  • Life Cycle: Westslope Cutthroat spawn from May to June.
  • Length: 30 - 35 cm. Maximum 52cm.
  • Weight: 0.3 - 0.5 kg.
  • Food: Invertebrates such as aquatic insect larvae and grasshoppers.
  • Home: Can be found along the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains.



  • AKA: Kickininee, little redfish, silver trout, landlocked sockeye, blueback
  • Life Cycle: Kokanee spawn from August to early December in lake shores.
  • Length: 20 – 25 cm. Maximum 60 cm.
  • Weight: 0.1 –  0.2 kg. Maximum 4.5 kg.
  • Food: Zooplankton and tiny aquatic animals.
  • Home: Kokanee can be found in the mid depths of open waters from California to Alaska.

White Sturgeon

white sturgeon

  • Life Cycle: Generally live to around 25 years of age. White Sturgeon can live to about a maximum of 100 years ol.
  • Length: 6 feet. Maximum 6 meters.
  • Weight: Maximum 600kg.
  • Largest Ever Caught: The largest white sturgeon ever caught was 1800 pounds in the Fraser River.
  • Food: Dependent upon the river systems it lives in, the White Sturgeon has a varying diet.
  • Home: West coast of North America.