Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The brown trout is an economically important species, particularly due to its popularity with anglers, and stocks are maintained in many areas by artificial introductions (2). This fish feeds on invertebrates, insect larvae, aerial insects, and molluscs, as well as the occasional fish and frog (4). Spawning occurs between January and March, when females are accompanied by a number of males. The eggs, which are fertilised externally, are covered with gravel by the female. For the first days after hatching, the young fish (fry) derive their nutrients from their large yolk sacs; they then feed on small arthropods, such as insect larvae (2). The maximum-recorded life span of a brown trout is 5 years (4).
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Description

The brown trout is a beautiful fish, similar in general shape to the salmon; the back is dark, the sides pale, and both are flecked with variable reddish spots that have pale borders (3). The belly is a creamy yellowish-white. Juveniles and immature adults can be distinguished as they have bluish-grey spots, and adult males have a strongly curved lower jaw (2).
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Repopulation of stocks usual in Europe. Original population still exists in the island of Corse in the Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 682). Often found in fast-flowing streams of mountain and sub-mountainous regions and sometimes even valleys (Ref. 9696). Feed on benthic invertebrates, insect larvae, aerial insects (in rivers) and mollusks. In addition, adults consume fish and frogs (Ref. 30578). Utilized fresh and smoked; eaten fried, broiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988).
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Distribution

Northeast Atlantic: southward to southern Norway; Iceland; southern Greenland. Non-migratory and land-locked relict populations south to the British Isles and central France. Reported from Greece (Ref. 27724), Estonia (Ref. 33247) and Argentina (Ref. 9086). Elsewhere circumpolar. Likely to benefit from environmental regulation passed in France on 8/12/88 (Ref. 2163). Considered a synonym of Salmo trutta trutta by Kottelat (Ref. 13696).
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Range

The brown trout is found throughout Europe; those that live in rivers which empty into the North Sea and the Baltic Sea belong to the subspecies Salmo trutta fario, those that live in rivers that empty into the Black Sea are of the subspecies Salmo trutta labrax, and those in rivers emptying into the Mediterranean belong to the subspecies S. t. macrostigma (2). The brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) is found throughout the British Isles (3).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 3 - 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8 - 11; Anal spines: 3 - 4; Analsoft rays: 7 - 10; Vertebrae: 56 - 59
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Size

Max. size

100.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 30578)); max. published weight: 20.0 kg (Ref. 30578); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 27724)
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Diagnostic Description

Caudal fin with 18 to 20 soft rays (Ref. 40476).
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

demersal; anadromous (Ref. 46888); freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - ? m, usually ? - 10 m
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Inhabits well-oxygenated streams and rivers (3).
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Migration

Anadromous. Fish that ascend rivers to spawn, as salmon and hilsa do. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on benthic invertebrates, insect larvae, mollusks, fish and frogs (Ref. 30578).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Information above for populations existing in small rivers.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Status

Common and widespread (4).
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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Not currently threatened.
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Management

Conservation

No conservation action has been targeted at this species.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
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