Eastern Brook Trout

eastern brook trout
Eastern Brook Trout | FWS

Scientific Name: Salvelinus fontinalis


The eastern brook trout is the only species of trout native to eastern North America. Historically this fish could be found in cold, clean lakes, rivers and creeks from Maine to Georgia. Today, brook trout are found only in higher-elevation streams.

Refuges where the eastern brook trout can be found:


This fish is sensitive to pollution and changes in water acidity, and began declining as early as the 19th century due to human development. Many waters have become too polluted for the brook trout to thrive. In some parts of the East, brook trout are beginning to recover as water quality is improved and natural stream flows are restored.


Eastern brook trout are green to brown, with lighter marbling and scattered red spots with blue outlines. Their lower fins are red with a white outline. Their bellies are normally red, but during the mating season they turn dark red or orange.  Adult fish stretch from 10 to 26 inches and can weigh anywhere from 10 ounces to seven pounds. Brook trout usually living in the wild no longer than seven years. Their diet consists of primarily insects, but they also eat small mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic snakes.

What NWRA is doing:

Help us protect the  Connecticut River Watershed, where the eastern brook trout and many other species live. NWRA is working to protect the Connecticut River Watershed through our Beyond the Boundaries program. This 7.2-million-acre watershed encompasses a variety of habitats, from northern boreal forests to coastal marshes. NWRA is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to educate people about the importance of this watershed and conserve the habitats and wildlife within it. Learn More.

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