Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (261.6 ?? 24.7 g initial weight, mean ?? SEM) at 13.1 ?? 0.2 C were exposed for 94 d to one of three CO2 treatments: control (22.1 ?? 2.8 mg/L), medium (34.5 ?? 3.8 mg/L), or high (48.7 ?? 4.4 mg/L). Trout were checked daily for survival, and fish were sampled at 0, 28, 56, and 84 d for physiological responses, growth, and fillet quality assessments. Trout were also challenged to a 15-min crowding stress at 93 d to assess their ability to initiate a stress response during hypercapnia. Chronically exposed trout showed nearly 100% survival through 84 d exposure (1 of 1,500 fish died). Growth and physiological results showed that increasing elevated CO2 concentrations result in corresponding decreased growth rates and CO2-specific physiological parameters: The medium and high CO2 treatments had significantly slower growth and subsequently smaller fish by 84 d. Exposed trout also showed significantly (P < 0.05) decreased plasma chloride for medium and high CO2 treatments compared to the control from 28 through 84 d. Decreased growth and smaller fish in the medium and high CO2 treatments resulted in correspondingly smaller fresh and smoked fillet weights. Chronic CO2 exposure did not result in notable changes in ultimate muscle pH. Exposure to 15-min crowding stress at 93 d resulted in significant changes in hematocrit, plasma cortisol, glucose, and chloride for all treatment groups. CO2-specific changes were detected in hematocrit, plasma cortisol, and plasma chloride responses following the 15-min crowding stress. ?? Copyright by the World Aquaculture Society 2005.