About The Species - Habits And Habitat Of Trout

Top 5 Trout ClassesTrout are closely related to salmon and char (or charr). The word trout is also used as part of the name of some non-salmoides fish such as the spotted seatrout or speckled trout.

Most trout such as lake trout live in freshwater lakes and rivers exclusively, while there are others such as the rainbow trout which as such live out their lives in fresh water, or spend two or three years at sea before returning to fresh water to spawn, being called a steelhead (a habit more typical of salmon). Arctic char and brook trout are part of the char family.

The Anatomy Of A Trout

Trout that live in different environments can have dramatically different colorations and patterns. Mostly, these colors and patterns form as camouflage, based on the surroundings, and will change as the fish moves to different habitats. Trout in, or newly returned from the sea, can look very silvery, while the same fish living in a small stream or in an alpine lake could have pronounced markings and more vivid coloration; it is also possible that in some species this signifies that they are ready to mate. In general trout that are about to breed have extremely intense coloration. They can look like an entirely different fish outside of spawning season. It is virtually impossible to define a particular color pattern as belonging to a specific breed; however, in general, wild fish are claimed to have more vivid colors and patterns.

Apache TroutTrout have fins entirely without spines, and all of them have a small adipose fin along the back, near the tail. The pelvic fins sit well back on the body, on each side of the anus. The swim bladder is connected to the esophagus, allowing for gulping or rapid expulsion of air, a condition known as physostome. Unlike many other physostome fish, trout do not use their bladder as an auxiliary device for oxygen uptake, relying solely on their gills.

There are many species, and even more populations, that are isolated from each other and morphologically different. However, since many of these distinct populations show no significant genetic differences, what may appear to be a large number of species is considered a much smaller number of distinct species by most ichthyologists. The trout found in the eastern United States are a good example of this. The brook trout, the aurora trout, and the (extinct) silver trout all have physical characteristics and colorations that distinguish them, yet genetic analysis shows that they are one species, Salvelinus fontinalis.

Lake TroutLake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), like brook trout, belong to the char genus. Lake trout inhabit many of the larger lakes in North America, and live much longer than rainbow trout, which have an average maximum lifespan of 7 years. Lake trout can live many decades, and can grow to more than 66 lbs.

Trout Habitat And Surroundings

Dolly VardenTrout are usually found in cool (50–60 °F or 10–16 °C), clear streams and lakes, although many of the species have anatropous strains as well. Young trout are referred to as troutlet, troutling or fry. They are distributed naturally throughout North America, northern Asia and Europe. Several species of trout were introduced to Australia and New Zealand by amateur fishing enthusiasts in the 19th century, effectively displacing and endangering several upland native fish species. The introduced species included brown trout from England and rainbow trout from California. The rainbow trout were a steelhead strain, generally accepted as coming from Sonoma Creek. The rainbow trout of New Zealand still show the steelhead tendency to run up rivers in winter to spawn.

In Australia the rainbow trout was introduced in 1894 from New Zealand and is an extremely popular game fish in recreational angling. Despite severely impacting the distribution and abundance of native Australian fish, such as the Climbing galaxias, millions of rainbow and other trout species are released annually from government and private hatcheries.