The rainbow trout is a non-native species that has been introduced throughout the Mid Atlantic states. Rainbows are native to North America's Pacific slope from Alaska to California.
In the Mid Atlantic states, rainbow trout are found in the upper reaches of the Delaware, Susquehanna, Savage, Patapsco, Gunpowder, Potomac, Patuxent, and other rivers. A migratory form of rainbow trout, known as steelhead, occurs in Lake Erie and its rivers and streams.
Like other members of the trout-salmon family, rainbow trout feed on a wide range of prey, depending on location, season, age, and other factors. In most habitats, small rainbows prey on aquatic insects, plankton, snails, worms, leeches, fish eggs, and other food sources. As rainbow trout increase in size, their diets tend to include higher amounts of fish and other large prey.