Fire-retardant chemicals often are applied in relatively pristine and environmentally sensitive areas that are potentially inhabited by endangered or threatened aquatic species. Avoidance of contaminants is an adaptive behavior that may reduce exposure to harmful conditions. We evaluated the avoidance responses of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to concentrations of fire-retardant chemicals and alternate constituent formulations ranging from 0.65 to 26 mg/L. Countercurrent avoidance chambers were used in a flow-through design with receiving water at each end and a drain at the center to create a distinct boundary between treatment water and reference water. Rainbow trout consistently avoided water treated with retardants at all concentrations tested. The magnitude of the avoidance response did not appear to follow a concentration-response relationship, but rather was an all-or-none response.