In a medium bowl stir together the smoked trout, cream cheese, sour cream, shallot, lemon peel, lemon juice, and pepper until well combined, smearing the trout against the sides of the bowl with the back of the spoon while stirring.
Transfer spread to a small serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to serve. Remove spread from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. Top with chives or green onion. Serve with sweet pepper strips and crackers or flat breads, if desired. Makes 1-3/4 cups (sixteen 2 tablespoon servings).