Brook Trout

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Brook Trout

Species Information

Scientific Name:Salvelinus fontinalis
Common Names:brook trout, brook char, coaster trout, coasters
Environment:Lake, River, Stream
Ideal Temp:55-65°F (13-18°C)

About Brook Trout

The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a species of freshwater fish in the char genus Salvelinus of the salmon family Salmonidae. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada, but has been introduced elsewhere in North America, as well as to Iceland, Europe, and Asia. In parts of its range, it is also known as the eastern brook trout, speckled trout, brook charr, squaretail, or mud trout, among others. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior, as well as an anadromous population in Maine, is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. The brook trout is the state fish of nine U.S. states: Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the Provincial Fish of Nova Scotia in Canada.

The brook trout has a dark green to brown color, with a distinctive marbled pattern (called vermiculation) of lighter shades across the flanks and back and extending at least to the dorsal fin, and often to the tail. A distinctive sprinkling of red dots, surrounded by blue halos, occurs along the flanks. The belly and lower fins are reddish in color, the latter with white leading edges. Often, the belly, particularly of the males, becomes very red or orange when the fish are spawning.

Typical lengths of the brook trout vary from 25 to 65 cm (9.8 to 25.6 in), and weights from 0.3 to 3 kg (0.66 to 6.61 lb). The maximum recorded length is 86 cm (34 in) and maximum weight 6.6 kg (15 lb). Brook trout can reach at least seven years of age, with reports of 15-year-old specimens observed in California habitats to which the species has been introduced. Growth rates are dependent on season, age, water and ambient air temperatures, and flow rates. In general, flow rates affect the rate of change in the relationship between temperature and growth rate. For example, in spring, growth increased with temperature at a faster rate with high flow rates than with low flow rates.

The brook trout inhabits large and small lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and spring ponds. They prefer clear waters of high purity and a narrow pH range and are sensitive to poor oxygenation, pollution, and changes in pH caused by environmental effects such as acid rain. The typical pH range of brook trout waters is 5.0 to 7.5, with pH extremes of 3.5 to 9.8 possible. Water temperatures typically range from 34 to 72 °F (1 to 22 °C). Warm summer temperatures and low flow rates are stressful on brook trout populations—especially larger fish.

Brook trout have a diverse diet that includes larval, pupal, and adult forms of aquatic insects (typically caddisflies, stoneflies, mayflies, and aquatic dipterans), and adult forms of terrestrial insects (typically ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets) that fall into the water, crustaceans, frogs and other amphibians, molluscs, smaller fish, invertebrates, and even small aquatic mammals such as voles.

The brook trout is a popular game fish with anglers, particularly fly fishermen. Until it was displaced by introduced brown trout (1883) and rainbow trout (1875), the brook trout attracted the most attention of anglers from colonial times through the first 100 years of U.S. history. Sporting writers such as Genio Scott Fishing in American Waters (1869), Thaddeus Norris American Anglers Book (1864), Robert Barnwell Roosevelt Game Fish of North America (1864) and Charles Hallock The Fishing Tourist (1873) produced guides to the best-known brook trout waters in America. As brook trout populations declined in the mid-19th century near urban areas, anglers flocked to the Adirondacks in upstate New York and the Rangeley lakes region in Maine to pursue brook trout. In July 1916 on the Nipigon River in northern Ontario, an Ontario physician, John W. Cook, caught a 14.5 lb (6.6 kg) brook trout, which stands as the world record

Brook Trout Fishing

World Record:6.57 kg (14 lb 8 oz) Nipigon River, Ontario, Canada 21-Jul-1915
# Fish Caught:79970 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1853 12:00:00 AM and located at 44.76185, -71.04721.
Latest Record:1/25/2024 10:53:00 AM and located at 36.28554, -92.51408.
Common Techniques:Casting, Fly
Popular Lure Types:Crankbaits, Flies, Plugs, Soft Plastics, Spinnerbaits, Topwater
Fishing Spots:9942 Brook Trout fishing spots.

Latest Brook Trout Fishing Reports and Spots

WHISPERS OF THE ALLAGASH - 1/25/2024 10:53:00 AM

In the summer of 2022 Friends and Family set off to Maine’s North Woods on a three day fly fishing trip in search of plentiful wild native brook (View)

Mr. Rapidan Emerger - 12/13/2023 11:17:58 AM

The Mr. Rapidan Emerger is one of my favorite flies for early trout fishing on the native brook trout streams. I developed this The post Mr. Ra (View)

Summer fishing fading fast - 9/6/2023 7:43:05 PM

Early autumn is setting in here across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We had some downright hot weather over the holiday weekend but now a co (View)

Mid June U.P. Fishing Report - 6/22/2023 6:14:51 PM

June has been a fantastic fishing month here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula! Resident Brown and Brook Trout fishing has been very productive wit (View)

Fly Fishing in June - 5/31/2023 11:38:38 AM

The month of June can provide some excellent fly fishing on both the smallmouth and native brook trout streams. Let’s discuss the smallmouth Th (View)

Black Seabass - 5/28/2023 8:11:45 AM


Brook Trout - 5/28/2023 8:11:43 AM


Brook Trout - 5/28/2023 8:11:43 AM


Brook Trout - 5/28/2023 8:11:42 AM


Brook Trout - 5/28/2023 8:11:42 AM