We investigated if seasonal changes in rainbow trout muscle energetics arise in response to seasonal changes in erythrocyte properties. We assessed if skeletal muscle mitochondrial enzymes changed (1) acutely in response to changes in erythrocyte abundance, or (2) seasonally when we altered the age profile of erythrocytes. Rainbow trout were treated with pheynylhydrazine,causing a 75% reduction in hematocrit within 4 days. After erythropoiesis had returned hematocrit to normal, treated and control fish were subjected to a seasonal cold acclimation regime to assess the impact of erythrocyte age on skeletal muscle remodeling. Anemia (i.e. phenylhydrazine treatment) did not alter the specific activities (U g-1 tissue) of mitochondrial enzymes in white or red muscle. Anemic pretreatment did not alter the normal pattern of cold-induced mitochondrial proliferation in skeletal muscle,suggesting erythrocyte age was not an important influence on seasonal remodeling of muscle. Anemia and cold acclimation both induced a 25–30%increase in relative ventricular mass. The increase in relative ventricular mass with phenylhydrazine treatment was accompanied by a 35% increase in DNA content (mg DNA per ventricle), suggesting an increase in number of cells. In contrast, the increase in ventricular mass with cold temperature acclimation occurred without a change in DNA content (mg DNA per ventricle), suggesting an increase in cell size. Despite the major increases in relative ventricular mass, neither anemia nor seasonal acclimation had a major influence on the specific activities of a suite of mitochondrial enzymes in heart. Collectively, these studies argue against a role for erythrocyte dynamics in seasonal adaptive remodeling of skeletal muscle energetics.