West Virginia State Fish
Brook Trout (common name)
Salvelinus fontinalis (scientific name)
The brook trout is a smaller and thinner member of the salmon family that is primarily confined to freshwater. It is a highly prized sport fish and considered one of the most flavorful of all edible fishes. The brook trout is the state fish of several states: West Virginia (1973), Virginia (1993), Pennsylvania (1970), Michigan (1988), New Hampshire (1994), New Jersey (1991), and New York (1975). It was adopted as the state cold-water fish of Vermont in 1978. Its coloration is a beautiful greenish brown with a marbled pattern all over, red and blue dots along its flank, and a reddish belly. Brook trout that live in the ocean or in large lakes are much bigger than their stream-dwelling cousins and are more blue or green on the back with silver cheeks, flanks, and belly. Coloration deepens during spawning, and breeding males also develop a hooked lower jaw.
Length: Up to 34 in (86 cm); average of 12 in (30 cm)
Weight: Up to 14.5 lbs (6.6 kg); average of 1 lb (450 g)
Up to 5 years
Brook trout live in clear and cold spring-fed streams, lakes, and ponds.
Range: Native to eastern North America from the Hudson Bay and Labrador Peninsula in the north, west to Minnesota and southeast to eastern Iowa and Georgia. In the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains, brook trout are increasingly confined to higher elevations.
Water type: Freshwater
Water temp: 53-56°F (12-13°C)
Conservation Status: Secure
Brook trout feed on larvae, insects (midges, mosquitoes, grasshoppers), worms, small fish, fish roe, and occasionally field mice and small snakes.
Spawning frequency: Late Summer or Autumn
Mating behavior: Distinct and group pairing
Egg laying: The female digs multiple depressions (redds) in the gravel of a small stream, where she lays 100–5,000 eggs for one or more males to fertilize with his milt. The female then buries the eggs in a small gravel mound, and they hatch in approximately 100 days. Adults do not guard the nest.
Game fish, aquaculture
Eastern brook trout, brookie, speckled trout, native trout, squaretail, speckled trout, brook char, Aurora trout
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Raw Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Author: World Trade Press