In this study, clonal lines from North American resident and migratory populations of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss adapted to different geographical conditions and with different domestication histories were characterized morphologically. Lines reared in a common-garden experiment were characterized for external shape and meristic values, searching for a general pattern of morphological variation due to exposure to captive conditions. A sharp distinction was identified between wild and captive lines. The body profile was deeper in captive lines, with longer dorsal and anal fins and shorter and deeper caudal peduncles. Highly significant differences were also identified in meristic values among the lines but no consistent relation between meristic values and domestication status was detected. This morphological characterization will facilitate the selection of lines with divergent phenotypes for subsequent quantitative trait loci analysis, aimed at identifying genome regions linked with morphological adaptive response to captive conditions.