• Family: Salmonidae (Trout, Salmon, Char, and Whitefish)
• Other Names: German trout
• Ohio Status: Sport fish and introduced
• Adult Size: Typically 12-18 inches in Ohio streams, occasionally reaches 29 inches. Usually weigh 1-2 pounds, can reach 15 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Insects, small fish, aquatic invertebrates, and occasionally frogs or small rodents.
Brown trout are brown to gold on their back with a cream to slate-colored belly. Most fish have black, gray, yellow, and occasionally red spots all surrounded by a white halo. This species has a prominent spotted adipose fin between the dorsal and caudal fin. There are no spots on the squarish tail or vermiculation on the back.
Habitat and Habits
Brown trout are native to Europe, but were introduced to North America before the turn of the century. They prefer cold water with temperatures ranging up to 79 F°. Preferred habitat includes areas of boulders, cobble, logs, rootwads and overhead cover. Brown trout will feed in riffles containing rock as small as gravel.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Brown trout generally do not reproduce successfully in Ohio, but in nature they spawn over gravel or cobble substrates in moving water from late September to early November. Division of Wildlife hatcheries rear brown trout for one year (six to seven inches) before stocking them.