My Scientific Name
By the Numbers
We are generally 12 to 20 inches in length, and weigh 4 pounds. Some of us that live in lakes, grow to more than two feet in length. The largest was more than 40 inches long and over 20 pounds!
How to Identify Me
I have an unusually large head and mouth for a fish my size; it’s how I got the name ‘bull trout.’ Brook trout and lake trout are my cousins, but my tail fins aren’t deeply-forked like theirs. My fins have white edges, and the top of my body is dark in color. I also have yellow, orange, or salmon-colored spots on our backs.
Why I Matter and What's Been Happening
My species is an excellent indicator of water quality, and we have the most specific habitat requirements of any fish in our (Salmonidae) family. So, when people restore and protect our habitat, water quality is improved in our rivers and lakes for other fish, animals, and people too!
Our populations are in decline and struggling throughout much of our range because we can’t find or reach our preferred habitats. We need cold, clean water and connected, complex habitats –think lots of riffles and pools, undercut banks and logs in the stream. We’re listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, but fortunately a lot of people are working together to help restore us.