Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

Brook Trout was imported into Europe from North America with other fish species at the end of the last century. In the American populations both permanently freshwater as well as migratory forms are known. The brook trout has an olive back with light marbling pattern and the body covered with red, yellow and blue spots. The fins are pale yellow to reddish, whilst the first rays of its pelvic, pectoral and anal fins are white and black. The biology of the brook trout is similar to that of the brown trout and the charr and thus it can easily be crossbred with them. The hybrids are known as zebra-trout, when crossbred with the trout. It will also hybridize with the Arctic charr. The progeny of both crosses are infertile. It habitually spawns during the winter months when the female excavates a suitable spawning be. It has a very similar diet to that of the brown rout and the charr.

It has been introduced into some British lakes and in Europe to several Alpine lakes, but has disappeared from many of them. It has only become effectively acclimatized in a few lakes and in some streams high up in the mountains. Generally in Europe it reaches a length of about 50 cm and weighs about 1 kg. However, in North America the brook trout is much larger and heavier and is a popular angling fish. Maximum size and weight: 65 cm, 3 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Olive-coloured back with light marbling, reel, yellow and blue spots on the sides. Fins pale yellow to reddish; first rays of pectoral, pelvic and anal

Other trout species: Lake Trout

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