Fisheries Program
Northeast Region
Brook trout
Brook trout

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

Life History

Brook trout live in small headwater streams, large rivers, ponds and lakes. They prefer clear, cool waters and their survival is often limited by temperature. To thrive they require cover to hide, moderate stream temperatures, and overwintering habitat. They spawn in fall. The females deposit eggs in redds in the stream bottom. Eggs hatch in spring and feed on plankton and insects. They may grow a few inches long in their first year.


Georgia to Canada

Fun Facts

  • The Eastern brook trout is one of two salmonids native to the East Coast.
  • Some brook trout, called Coaster brook trout, migrate to the ocean where they feed and may even overwinter.

More Information

Video about the eastern brook trout life history

Habitat Suitability Index Models: Brook Trout (pdf - 2.36MB)

Conserving the Eastern Brook Trout: Action Strategies (pdf - 548KB)

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Fish Habitat Partnership website

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture partnership poster (ppt - 34.5MB)

Trout in the Classroom (pdf - 534KB)

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Last updated: December 16, 2011
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