Brown Trout - Salmo trutta

Brown Trout - Photo credit: Bill Byrne, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Habitat requirements and life history: The brown trout, native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, was introduced to Massachusetts in the late 1880s. Brown trout inhabit rivers, lakes and reservoirs and tolerates warmer and siltier water than other trouts. It is widely stocked and self-sustaining populations have been established in many of the same waters as brook trout. As with brook trout, wild browns in headwater streams average only 5-6 inches, whereas stocked fish are usually twice as large. It can survive where brook and rainbow trouts cannot. The brown trout often feed at night on insects, other arthropods, frogs and fishes. In the fall, brown trout move upstream to spawn. The female excavates a nest (redd) in gravel on the stream bottom, where the eggs are laid and fertilized. The embryos develop over the winter under a layer of gravel. The fry hatch in the spring. (Sources: Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, & Delaware, Massachusetts Wildlife, No. 2, 2000, Special Fishing Issue and AMC Guide to Freshwater Fishing in New England)

Learn about stocking of brown trout.

Total length: 8-10 inches (up to 15 inches)
Pollution tolerance (US EPA): Intolerant
Classification: Fluvial specialist

Number of fish found during 1954 & 2001 Fish Surveys*:

Location No. of Fish 1954 No. of Fish 2001
Assabet River 12 20
Danforth Brook   3
Great Brook   2
Guggins Brook   1
Hog Brook   2
Nashoba Brook 26  
North Brook 3 2
Spencer Brook 1  
Total 42 30

DFW. 2001. Assabet Watershed Fish Survey. Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), Westborough, MA.

Schlotterbeck, L.C. and W.A. Tompkins. 1954. "A Fisheries Investigation of the Merrimack and Ipswich River Drainages." Bureau of Wildlife Research and Management, Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.