Author: Mike Cline, PD
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The Brook Trout has the scientific name salvelinus fontinalis. It is the state fish for 9 states including New Hampshire, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Physical attributes of the Brook Trout
A full grown brook trout is around two feet long and weighs around 7 pounds. It is greenish brown in color with a marbled pattern along its sides and back. The fins and tail are often red as well as some of the belly and sides. Red lines and red dots are found on the belly and tail. The red dots usually have blue circles around them. Because of the marbling and spots, it is sometimes called the speckled trout.
Habitat of the Brook Trout
The brook trout is a freshwater fish that typically lives in small streams and lakes in the Eastern United States and Canada. Brook trout tend to survive in very cold and pure water. They are not a long living fish and typically live around four to five years in the wild.
Because the brook trout needs clean water to live, conservationists often use the brook trout population to determine how polluted a body of water is. If the population is strong and growing, this usually means the water is clean of pollutants. If the population is shrinking, this can often mean that their environment, and the body of water where they live, is getting contaminated.
What do Brook Trout Eat?
Brook trout mostly eat insects, but they will also eat smaller fish and crustaceans.
Do people fish for Brook Trout?
The brook trout is a very popular fish for anglers. It can often get over-fished, which means that so many have been caught, the local population starts to drop. As a result, there are generally rules on how many fish you can catch and how big they must be before you can keep them. Many fisherman who fish them for sport, will release all the brook trout they catch back into the water.
Other facts about Brook Trout
For more about fish:
- The brook trout is part of the salmon family of fish.
- Although it is called a trout, it is actually a char.
- It can be found as far northwest as Alaska.
- They can grow to nearly 3 feet and 14 pounds and live up to 9 years.
- The record for the longest brook trout caught is 31 inches.
- The splake and the tiger trout are both hybrids of the brook trout.
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