RAINBOW TROUT are called rainbow trout because of the colorful pink to red lateral stripes on their sides. They tolerate waters which are associated with flood control dams. Their natural habitats consist of free flowing cool waters. Rainbow trout can grow as large as 52 pounds. Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery (NFH) distributed 1,171,699 rainbow trout weighing 242,141 pounds in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. This total includes 749,296 nine inch fish weighing 234,468 pounds, and 422,403 three to five inch fish weighing 7,673 pounds.
BROWN TROUT are brown to tan on the back and silvery on the lower sides and belly. They have black spots on the top and sides of the head and body and red spots scattered on the sides. These fish also like cool free flowing waters. Brown trout can grow as large as 40 pounds. Dale Hollow NFH distributed 295,981 brown trout weighing 31,537 pounds in FY 2016. This total includes 229,874 six to eight inch fish weighing 26,338 pounds, and 66,107 three to six inch fish weighing 5,199 pounds.
LAKE TROUT have small, light, irregular spots on a background varying from silvery or light green to dark green, brown, or black. They like cold waters, usually deep lakes or reservoirs, where they can find colder, well oxygenated water even in warm weather. Lake trout have been known to grow larger than 100 pounds. Dale Hollow NFH distributed 232,717 lake trout weighing 12,442 pounds in FY 2016. All of these fish were six inches in length.
BROOK TROUT can be found in small streams, creeks, lakes, and spring-fed ponds. They prefer cool, clear water and are sensitive to poor water quality. This fish is confined to higher elevations throughout the southern portion of its range and is the only salmonid native to Tennessee. Brook trout are green to slate gray in basic coloration with a marbled pattern of lighter shades across the back, extending to the dorsal fin. The body has pale spots and a few red spots ringed by pale areas. The dorsal, adipose, and caudal fins have dark spots. Brook trout can reach a weight of 14 pounds but are generally much smaller. Dale Hollow NFH distributed 33,913 brook trout weighing 1,386 pounds in FY 2016. This total includes 2,911 nine to ten inch fish weighing 998 pounds and 31,002 three to four inch fish weighing 388 pounds. The number of brook trout stocked in FY 2016 was low because of the unavailability of disease-free eggs in FY 2015.
BARRENS TOPMINNOW is an extremely rare fish occurring in springs and spring influenced streams on the Barrens Plateau in south-central Tennessee. Breeding males have red spots on a green or blue body with yellow on the fins. Non-breeding males, females, and juveniles are pale brown with scattered dark spots on the sides. Dale Hollow NFH distributed 69 Barrens topminnows (2012 Year Class/Type Locale Population) to a stocking site located on private property in Warren County in FY 2016. One hundred twenty-three Barrens topminnows were transferred from the Tennessee Aquarium to Dale Hollow NFH in FY 2016. These fish (2015 Year Class/Elk River Population) are being held as an ark population.
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