Genetic variation in nine wild brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) populations was studied by means of allozyme and microsatellite markers. All brown trout populations were clearly separated into two clusters that represented the Sil and Duero basins. Although both markers revealed a strong genetic differentiation between basins, microsatellite loci resulted much more accurate when population structure at the intrabasin level was analysed. Also pairwise multilocus FST estimates and assignment tests of individual fish to the set of sampled populations demonstrated a much higher efficiency of microsatellites compared to allozymes. The analysis of both markers provides new insights in defining the conservation units at this local area and confirms the existence of a recognized sub-lineage in the Duero basin. The management implications of these findings are discussed and changes in trout release activity are recommended to avoid mixing of trout gene pools mainly in the Sil basin.