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Brown Trout

Updated on November 11, 2014

Brown Trout

The brown trout (Salmo trutta morpha) is native to Europe and Asia.

The species belongs to the same genus (Salmo) as Atlantic Salmon.

Although brown trout are not native to North America, they have been widely stocked in streams and lakes due to their popularity with anglers.

The first stocking of brown trout into public waters of the U.S. occurred on April 11, 1884 in the Baldwin River.

Freshwater brown trout vary color from silvery with few spots and a white belly, to brown fading to creamy-white on the belly. adults display medium-sized spots surrounded by lighter coloration.

brown trout
brown trout

Brown Trout Facts

Brown trout prefer cold or cool streams, rivers, lakes and impoundments. The species is more tolerant of siltation and higher water temperatures than some members of the trout family.

The brown trout's optimum water temperature range is 50 to 60 degrees, although it can tolerate water temperatures in the low 70s.

A brown trout over 10 pounds is a trophy. Occasionally fish exceed 30 inches in length.

On September 9, 2009, fisherman Tom Healy shattered the world record for brown trout. The massive fish was 43.75 inches long, with a girth of 27 inches, and weighed a whopping 41 pounds and 7 ounces.

Sea trout (S. trutta morpha trutta) are fish of the same species that adopt an anadromous lifestyle, migrating to the sea and returning to freshwater only to spawn.

Silver phase brown trout are sometimes mistaken for rainbow trout.

Brown Trout Stocking

In North America, a controversy exists surrounding the introduction and stocking of brown trout, a non-native species.

Opponents claim that larger, more aggressive brown trout compete with native species of fish, many of which are threatened or endangered.

Do you think federal, state or local governments should continue stocking non-native brown trout in wild streams of North America ?

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    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      In the Owen's Valley, browns are the best fishing and since they're not stocked any more, most people call them "native browns" even though they're really not. There was no native species for them to compete with, so stocking wasn't an issue. They fight better than rainbows and I think they taste better too, but maybe that's because 90% of the rainbows are hatchery fish.

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      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      Cool lens! I would rather look at fish them eat them!