Two rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fish farms were repeatedly sampled in order to observe the variability of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity and of related genes in the liver. Fish coming from fish farm A exhibited EROD levels that could be considered as basal according to the scientific literature, however, EROD activity in fish coming from fish farm B was significantly increased. This was accompanied by augmented aryl hydrocarbon receptor (ahr) and cytochrome P4501A (cyp1A) messenger RNA expression and reduced oestrogen receptor (er) and vitellogenin (vtg) transcription. Only sediment extracts from the entry channel of fish farm B induced EROD activity in O. mykiss cultured cells, however, this induction could not be explained by the levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) measured in the sediments. The results of this study point out that O. mykiss cultured in fish farms could be used as sentinels for indication of pollution. In this particular work, however, no conclusive evidence has been found for a relationship between the presence of PAHs and PCBs and the observed EROD induction.