Brown trout (Salmo trutta fario)

GenusSalmo (1)
SizeLength: up to 50 cm (2)
Weightup to 2 kg (2)

The brown trout is common and widespread (4).

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).

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).

The brown trout inhabits well-oxygenated streams and rivers (3).

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).

The are not known to be any threats to the brown trout.

There are not known to be anny specific conservation measures currently in place for the brown trout.

For more information on the brown trout, visit:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Jan 2003):
  2. Cihar, J. (1991)A field guide in colour to freshwater fish. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
  3. Fishbase species account (Jan 2003):
  4. Buczacki, S. (2002) Fauna Britannica. Hamlyn, London.