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Brook Trout illustration

Brook Trout

World Record ~ 14 Lbs. 8 oz. Caught at the Nipigon River, Ontario on July, 1916 by angler Dr. W.J. Cook.

Scientific name ~ Salvelinus Fontinalis 

Other names ~ Squaretail, Brookie, Speckled Trout , Mountain Trout, Spotted Trout, Speckled Charr, Native Trout

Identification ~ Color can vary greatly, depending on habitat. Brook Trout bodies can be metalic blue, dark brown to yellowish. Brook trout can be distinguished from other members of the trout family by the wavy, worm-like lines on their back and the white leading edges of their fins.

Size ~  Size varies greatly, depending on water temperature, productivity, and food sources. Brook Trout are capable of reaching large sizes but the ones that habitat small streams are usually under 10 inches and a pound or less. The brook trout that are found in lakes may reach a couple of pounds and the sea run brookies tend to be the largest.

Habitat ~ Of all the members of the char family, Brook Trout adapt most easily to their environment and will tolerate the widest range of conditions, including extremes in temperature. They grow and survive best in temperatures between 55 and 65F. Brook trout, which like other char and trout are a coldwater species, can survive a wide range of temperatures, from near 32F to around 72F. Brook trout can be found in even the smallest spring-fed streams, especially where cover is available. Fingerlings prefer shallow water about 16 in. deep, and adults do not need much more than that. In streams, they prefer areas where the substrate consists of gravel and cobble Stream fish have small home territories, or stations, and may remain by a given rock or log throughout the season, provided it is close to cover. Trout establish hierarchies and exhibit agonistic behavior at feeding stations, but they often will share escape cover. Many mistakenly consider deep, coldwater lakes the ideal habitat for brook trout. However, brook trout are not a deep-water species. They can tolerate that environment, but seldom will they use depths greater than 15 to 20 feet unless temperatures in shallower water are too high and no other coldwater refuge areas exist.

Feeding Habits ~ Smaller Brook Trout feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, occasionally supplementing this diet with crayfish. Large brook trout may eat small fish.

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