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Rainbow trout taken from 4 different localities along the Spokane River (eastern Washington) during July, August and October of 1999 were analyzed for heavy metals for the Washington State Department of Ecology. As part of this study, the length (in millimeters) and weight (in grams) of each trout were measured; age determinations using scales are currently underway.

Rainbow trout show an exponential relationship between length and weight. Smaller (younger) fish are relatively long and skinny, whereas larger (older) fish are much more stout. This type of growth sequence is very common among many plants and animals; humans show the same kind of growth behavior.

The good fit of an exponential model to the data could be utilized to eliminate weighing the fish; just measure the length, and calculate the weight from the function.

Reference: Johnson, A. (2000), Results from Analyzing Metals in 1999 Spokane River Fish and Crayfish Samples; Washington State Dept. of Ecology report.

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 Rainbow trout from the Spokane River, WA (n = 42) Source: WA State Dept. of Ecology report length (mm) weight (g) 457 855 405 715 455 975 460 895 335 472 365 540 390 660 368 581 385 609 360 557 346 433 438 840 392 623 324 387 360 479 413 754 276 235 387 538 345 438 395 584 326 353 270 209 359 476 347 432 259 202 247 184 280 248 265 223 309 392 338 460 334 406 332 383 324 353 337 363 343 390 318 340 305 303 335 410 317 335 351 506 368 605 502 1300

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