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Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis


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Brook Trout
credit: Engbretson, Eric

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Family: Salmonidae, Trouts view all from this family

Description The brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, (sometimes called the eastern brook trout) is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior are known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. Though commonly called a trout, the brook trout is actually a char, along with lake trout, bull trout, Dolly Varden and the Arctic char.

The term fontinalis comes from the Latin fontīnālis (of or from a spring or fountain).

The brook trout is native to small streams, creeks, lakes, and spring ponds. Some brook trout, referred to as sea-run brook trout, are anadromous. It is native to a wide area of eastern North America but increasingly confined to higher elevations southward in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia, Canada from the Hudson Bay basin east, the Great Lakes–Saint Lawrence system, and the upper Mississippi River drainage as far west as eastern Iowa.

Dimensions Up to 21" (53 cm); 14 1/2 lbs (6.6 kg).

Habitat Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Tidepools, Rivers & streams.

Range Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada.