Abstract Species specific differences in transporters, chaperones, metal binding proteins and other targets are important in metal toxicity. Therefore, we have studied the effects of copper exposure on the proteome of gill tissue from Oncorhynchus mykiss, Cyprinus carpio and Carassius auratus gibelio, which have different sensitivities toward copper. Fish were exposed to the Flemish water quality standard for surface waters, being 50μg/L, for 3days. Sampled gill tissue was subjected to a 2D-Dige and an iTRAQ analysis. While gibel carp showed more positive responses such as increased apolipoprotein A-I, transferrin and heat shock protein 70, common carp's gill tissue on the other hand displayed a changed actin cytoskeleton, and indications of a changed metabolism. These last two traits were evident in rainbow trout as well, together with decreased expressions of transferrin and albumin. urthermore, the Weighted Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis of rainbow trout data revealed a network of 98 proteins related to Cu accumulation in gill, of which the occurrence of proteins related to oxidative stress, such as superoxide dismutase and cytochrome c were promising. Additionally, the outcome of the different proteomics techniques demonstrates the usefulness of iTRAQ analysis compared to 2D-Dige and the need for fully annotated genomes.