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Salvelinus fontinalis  (Mitchill, 1814)

Brook trout
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Salvelinus fontinalis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Salvelinus fontinalis (Brook trout)
Salvelinus fontinalis
Picture by JJPhoto

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Salmoniformes (Salmons) > Salmonidae (Salmonids) > Salmoninae
Etymology: Salvelinus: Old name for char; it is the same root of german "saibling" = little salmon (Ref. 45335);  fontinalis: fontinalis meaning living in springs (Ref. 1998).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 15 - 27 m (Ref. 3899).   Temperate; ? - 25°C (Ref. 35682); 65°N - 30°N, 95°W - 52°W

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 86.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7248); common length : 26.4 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 9.4 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 24 years (Ref. 72501)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 3 - 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8-14; Anal spines: 3-4; Anal soft rays: 8 - 14; Vertebrae: 58 - 62. Distinguished by the combination of dark green marbling on its back and dorsal fin and by the red spots with blue halos on its sides (Ref. 27547). Pelvic fins with axillary process; caudal nearly straight or with a shallow indentation (Ref. 27547). Color varies, but generally rather green to brownish on back, marked with paler vermiculations or marbling that extend onto the dorsal fin and sometimes the caudal; sides lighter than back, marked with numerous pale spots and some red spots, each of the latter surrounded by a blue halo; anal, pelvic and pectoral fins with a white leading edge followed by a dark stripe, the rest of the fins reddish (Ref. 27547). In spawning fish the lower sides and fins become red (Ref. 27547). Sea-run fish are dark green above with silvery sides, white bellies and very pale pink spots (Ref. 27547). Caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 2196).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: most of eastern Canada from Newfoundland to western side of Hudson Bay; south in Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins to Minnesota and northern Georgia in USA. South America: Argentina (Ref. 9086). Widely introduced in temperate regions of other continents. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in clear, cool, well-oxygenated creeks, small to medium rivers, and lakes (Ref. 5723, 44894, 10294). Nerito-pelagic (Ref. 58426). In its native range, general upstream movements have been observed in early spring, summer and late fall; downstream movements, in late spring and fall (Ref. 28546, 28548, 28549, 28550). Some fish, popularly known as salters, run to the sea in the spring as stream temperatures rises, but never venture more than a few kilometers from river mouths. It may remain at sea for up to three months (Ref. 28546, 28549, 28551). Feeds on a wide range of organisms including worms, leeches, crustaceans, insects (chironomids, caddisflies, blackflies, mayflies, stoneflies and dragonflies (Ref. 5951), mollusks, fishes and amphibians (Ref. 3348, 10294); also small mammals (Ref. 1998). Stomachs of some individuals contained traces of plant remains (Ref. 1998). There are reports of introduced fish reaching 15 years of age in California, USA (Ref. 28545). Cultured for food and for stocking (Ref. 27547). Extensively used as an experimental animal (Ref. 1998). Marketed fresh and smoked; eaten fried, broiled, boiled, microwaved, and baked (Ref. 9988).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=-2.06000 (nan - nan), b=3.07 (3.01 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.1   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1-3; tmax=7).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (43 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.