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: New Hampshire (1994), New York (1975), Michigan (1988), New Jersey (1991), Pennsylvania (1970), Virginia (1993), and West Virginia (1973). 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.
Official State Freshwater Fish
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.
Fertilization: External 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.
Native brook trout started disappearing from North American streams as early as the late 1800s as streams became polluted, dammed, or too warm. Competition from smallmouth bass, perch, brown trout, and rainbow trout also accelerated their decline.
The striped bass has long been one of the most important commercial and recreational species found along the Atlantic coast. It is an anadromous species, migrating from saltwater to spawn in freshwater, and is distributed along the Atlantic coast from northern Florida to the St. Lawrence estuary. Temperate bass have two dorsal fins, three anal spines, a large mouth, ctenoid scales, thoracic pelvic fins, a large spine on the gill cover and a small gill on the underside of the gill cover. Striped bass have a dark, olive-green to bluish-black back and silvery-white sides and belly. There are seven to eight black, unbroken, horizontal stripes along the side. The striped bass was adopted as the state saltwater fish of New Hampshire in 1994.
Official State Saltwater Game Fish
Length: Up to 35 inches (89 cm) Weight: Up to 37 pounds (16.7 kg)
Up to 30 years
Range: Striped bass prefer large bodies of deep, clear water with a temperature between 65–70°F (18–21°C). Mature bass can be found in a variety of inshore, estuarine, and freshwater habitats depending on the location and season. Most striped bass remain in inshore waters and are not usually found more than eight kilometers from the coast. Water type: Saltwater and freshwater Water temp: 65–70°F (18–21°C) Elevation: Down to 658 feet (200 m) Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Striped bass eat almost any kind of small fish as well as several invertebrates, particularly crabs and squid. Their primary diet is shad.
Fertilization: External Spawning frequency: May begin in mid-February and continue until April Mating behavior: Distinct pairing Egg laying: Adults swim up tributary streams and spawn below dams or natural obstructions such as rock formations. The female deposits eggs in light to moderate current. The moving water keeps the eggs afloat until they hatch. Adults do not guard the eggs.
Striper, rockfish, linesides, pimpfish
The striped bass was adopted as the state saltwater fish of New York in 1975 and as the state fish of both Rhode Island and of South Carolina in 2000.
By 1776, New York and Massachusetts prohibited all sales of the striped bass in the winter months. Continuous harvesting of striped bass continued into the 20th century, but a severe decline in total landings experienced in the 1970s resulted in the development of increased regulation and conservation actions.