Trout, brook
(Salvelinus fontinalis)

(Mitchill, 1814); SALMONIDAE FAMILY; also called eastern brook trout, speckled or spotted trout, aurora trout, mountain trout, speckled char, brook char, salter, sea trout, square tailed trout, square tail, mud trout, brookie, breac, coaster, native trout

It is native to northeastern North America, primarily from the Great Lakes north to the Hudson Bay and east to the Atlantic and Arctic coasts. It occurs in the Appalachians southeast of the Great Lakes to the northeastern corner of Georgia. It inhabits clear, cold mountain streams and lakes, prefering water temperatures of approximately 57? 61?F (13? 16?C). It is rarely found in waters exceeding 68?F (20?C) and temperatures of 77? 80?F (25? 27?C) are fatal. It has been introduced into areas of high elevation throughout most of western North America. Today it can be found in scattered locations from the central portions of the lower Canadian Provinces south almost to Mexico (west of Texas). It has also been introduced to other continents, notably Tasmania, Australia, South America (Argentina), and Europe.

It is a typical char of the Salvelinus genus. The lower fins (pectoral, pelvic and anal) of chars have a milk white leading edge, distinguishing them from trouts. It is often identified by the light green to cream colored wavy lines (vermiculations) on the back and top of the head, and by the pale yellowish or greenish spots and the red spots with blue halos (ocelli) on the sides. The dorsal fin has heavy black vermiculations. The basic color of the back is olive green to dark brown, lightening to white on the belly. At spawning time, the lower flanks and belly of the males turn bright orange red with a black edge on the lower sides. Sea run specimens turn silvery, often with a light iridescent purplish sheen, and with only the red spots showing. The tail is squarish or only very slightly indented. All the fins are soft rayed, without spines.

As a food and game fish it rates extremely high. The flesh is white to bright orange and delicious. It is one of the most popular game fishes in northeastern North America, actively sought by both fly fishing and spinning enthusiasts. In some areas it is protected from commercial sale because of its status as a game fish


Trout Brook