The Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a freshwater salmonid fish native to Eastern North America. However, it has been artificially introduced across North America and on other continents. In parts of its range, it is also known as the eastern brook trout, speckled trout, brook charr, squaretail, or mud trout, among others. One population in Lake Superior is known as coaster trout. Although not the provincial fish of New Brunswick, the brook trout is the state fish of nine states.
In natural environments, the brook trout is dark green or brown in colour, with a distinctive pattern (vermiculation) of lighter shades across its back. A sprinkling of red dots surrounded by blue halos often occurs on its sides. The belly and lower fins are reddish-brown in color, and the lower fins have distinctive white leading edges. During spawning, the belly of the male brook trout often becomes bright red or orange.
Brook trout have a wide ranging diet, eating anything from aquatic invertebrates and larval stages of insects to crustaceans, small fish, and frogs. Due to their dependence on insects and pure water, they are often used as an indicator species for the scientific assessment of water quality and contamination.
If we were able to take our at-risk youth on nature expeditions, they would learn about the brook trout from experience – watching them jump for insects or seeing their red bellies flash on a canoe trip down the Restigouche. Youth deserve to know the brook trout’s colouration from first-hand experience, without having to read this post or look up photos on Google.
With your “brook trout” contribution of $50, we’ll be able to buy our campers a set of cookware to keep them well-fed. Our youth will be one step closer to seeing a brook trout, and we’ll be one step closer to teaching them the incredible value of nature through outdoor, experiential programming. In return, you’ll receive a subscription to our quarterly newsletter, a signed thank you card with artwork by a local artist, and two stickers to show your support! Check out our campaign to find out how to contribute and retrieve your perks.