The preferred tissue for analyses of fish stable isotope ratios for most researchers is muscle, the sampling of which typically requires the specimen to be sacrificed. The use of non-destructive methods in fish isotopic research has been increasing recently, but as yet is not a standard procedure. Previous studies have reported varying levels of success regarding the utility of non-lethally obtained stable isotope materials, e.g. fins, but none have accounted for the potential compounding effects of inorganic components of fin rays or lipids. Comparisons of carbon (C-13) and nitrogen (N-15) stable isotope ratios of muscle with adipose and caudal fin of two salmonids, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and brown trout (Salmo trutta L.), revealed that caudal fin can be used as a non-destructive surrogate for muscle in stable isotope analysis, but that adipose fin, where available, is a better proxy. The use of a published model to inexpensively counteract the confounding effect of lipids, which are depleted in C-13, greatly improved the relationship between fish muscle and fins. However, efforts to account for the inorganic components of fin rays were counterproductive and required twice the biomass of fins clipped from each fish. As this experiment was conducted on wild fish, controlled laboratory studies are required to confirm these field observations.