© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This study characterizes immunoglobulin light chain (IgL) expression and variable family usage in rainbow trout. IgL transcripts were generated by 5’ RACE from both immune and TNP-KLH immunized fish. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the IgL variable regions clustered into seven different families: three kappa families (two newly described in this study), three sigma families, and a single lambda family. IgL1 and IgL3 transcripts expressing identical variable regions were identified and genomic analysis revealed that the two isotypes are co-localized on chromosomes 7, 15, 18, and 21 allowing for potential rearrangement between clusters. Fish were immunized with TNP-KLH (n = 5) and percent expression of IgL1, IgL2, IgL3, and IgL4 measured by qRT-PCR from immune tissues and magnetically sorted TNP-specific lymphocyte populations. In all samples IgL1 constituted 80–95% of the transcripts. The percentage of anti-TNP specific IgL1 transcripts was measured in naïve, unsorted, and TNP-specific cell populations of TNP-KLH fish (n = 3) and found to be significantly higher in the TNP positive cell population (21%) compared to the naïve population (1%; p = 0.02) suggesting that there is a selection of TNP specific IgL sequences.