Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792)

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English Rainbow trout Status LU: established. 1st record: 1887.
Lëtzebuergesch Reeboufrell 1 Status EU: established.
Français Truite arc-en-ciel RA: ISEIA: C2. Harmonia+: n/a.
Deutsch Regenbogenforelle Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Rainbow trout Lëtzebuergesch Wikipedia - Français - Truite arc-en-ciel Wikipedia - Deutsch - Regenbogenforelle Wikipedia - Nederlands - Regenboogforel | Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Oncorhynchus mykiss | CABI
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Report the species

Report Oncorhynchus mykiss to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Female Rainbow Trout in handOncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792) is a competitive trout species which can displace native trout species when introduced into new environments; the fisheries management literature is replete with papers that document this phenomenon. The fact that O. mykiss has been widely distributed throughout the temperate regions of the world for 125 years virtually guarantees that they have had a negative impact on biodiversity in areas outside their original distribution. Even within their native range, the indiscriminate planting of trout derived from coastal stocks into areas containing inland stocks has had a profound effect on population abundance of native strains of redband trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout and other native salmonids. Escapees from fish farms are an additional concern, but the most harm to biodiversity has resulted from fisheries management agencies planting O. mykiss over the past century (CABI 2019).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Records of Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum, 1792 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020-07-07.

Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792) (Syn: Trutta iridea (Gibbons, 1855)) was introduced to Luxembourg in 1887: “On 2 July 1887 Mr. Koltz introduced the ‘rainbow trout’ (Trutta iridea) to us and released it in the Canacherbach (Anonym 1892; Feltgen 1902). 2

During the river inventory of 1996/1997 the Rainbow trout was found in 33 spots. During a similar inventory in 2005, the species was only documented in two rivers: the Lower Syre (3 individuals) and the Reierbaach in the vicinity of Lasauvage (49 indivduals). The latter population indicates natural reproduction in the Reierbaach, which happens rarely in Europe (Administration de la gestion de l’eau 2010).

The introduction of the Rainbow trout was reduced considerably with, for example, a total ban in border rivers since 1986 (Administration de la gestion de l’eau 2010), resulting in the decline of the species in Luxembourg.

Currently, 59 records of in Luxembourg are accessible through the MNHNL-mdata portal (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF 2020).

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol

C2 (1+2+1+1) (Ries et al. 2014: 199).

Harmonia+ protocol

Not assessed yet.

Worldwide distribution


  • Administration de la gestion de l’eau (2010): Les poissons au Luxembourg, Cartographie des poissons, lamproies et écrevisses du grand-duché de Luxembourg. 213 pp.
  • Anonym, 1892. Sitzung vom 8. Februar 1892. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 2, H. 1: 3. [eluxemburgensia]
  • CABI, 2019. Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792). In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. URL: www.cabi.org/isc [accessed 2020-04-22]
  • Feltgen, E., 1902. Vademecum des Luxemburger Fischereiliebhabers. P. Worré-Mertens, Luxemburg. 148 S.
  • Klees, H., 1981. Luxemburger Tiernamen. Beiträge zur luxemburgischen Sprach- und Volkskunde XIV. Institut grand-ducal, Section de linguistique, de folklore et de toponymie. 2. Aufl. 131 S. Imprimerie Pierre Linden, Luxembourg.
  • MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020. Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792) in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [accessed 2020-04-22]
  • Ries, C., M. Pfeiffenschneider, Engel, E., J.-C. Heidt & M. Lauff, 2014. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of vertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 115: 195-201. [PDF 247 KB]

 Page content last updated on 2020-04-23. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-28.