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Parts of a Fish
Ontario Trout Fishing
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Brook (Speckled) Trout
Salvelinus fontinalis the brook trout or the
speckled trout, as it is commonly culled, is an unusually
The general coloration is usually olive green.
darker on the buck and lighter on the skies. The latter are
usually somewhat lustrous, with numerous rounded red spots. with
blue borders. The lower sides of the body are pinkish and the
belly is white. Especially characteristic are the dark green
vermiculations, the wavy or worm-like markings on the back, The
dorsal fin is olive green in colour and bears dark wavy
markings. and the lower fins are pinkish or orange in colour,
each set off with a black streak and a white leading edge. The
fins are so striking in appearance that the brook trout can he
readily identified as it swims in the water, The tail is square
or very shallow-forked.
Brook trout may vary considerably in colour, size and shape.
depending on the water from which they are taken. Specimens from
dark-coloured waters have a general brown tinge. instead of the
bright green of the fish taken from clear, cold waters.
Brook trout are chars. members of which are characterized by a
peculiar boat-shaped structure of the vomer, a bone in the roof
of the mouth. This bone bears a small patch of teeth on its head
or crest, while the backward extension or shaft is depressed and
lucks teeth. The scales are very small and often escape notice.
With a magnifying glass. it is possible to count 230 along the
lateral line of the body.
Brook trout are widely distributed in Ontario and are found in
many streams where suitable conditions exist, from the small
brooks of the cultivated regions of southern Ontario to the
larger rivers of northern Ontario. They are also found in
An environment of permanently cold, clear, spring-fed water
where there is plenty of cover, overhanging branches, logs,
etc., is most favourable to brook trout. Temperature is a prime
factor in determining the distribution of the species. It does
not thrive in water warmer than 68°F. In fact, 68°F. is about
the upper limit of water temperature for all stages of its life
history, though brook trout have been known to live in
swift-running waters at 75°F.
Streams having quiet pools with intervening
stretches of rapid water are most favourable. A bottom of sand
and gravel, occasionally diversified by muck, marl and clay, is
best. In lakes, the brook trout seeks fairly deep and cold water
in the summer. A suitable supply of oxygen in their habitat is
necessary. In reservoir lakes and ponds at depths where the
preferred temperature is found, there is good trout fishing
unless the oxygen supply is deficient.
Movements: ln spring and in early summer, they
feed ravenously in the rapids of streams. In midsummer, they lie
in the bottom of lakes cooled by springs, in the channels of
streams or in deep pools.
They thus contrive to avoid a change of
temperature with the seasons. The distinct trend of upstream
movement in summer may be due to high temperature but exact
evidence on this point is lacking. The brook trout will spawn
wherever suitable spawning grounds exist and do not necessarily
move upstream for this purpose. Brook trout which work along the
shore of Lake Superior are called “coasters”.
Spawning: During the last
three months of the year, brook trout build their nests on
gravel bottom in springbeds and riffles of streams. If streams
are not available, they will spawn on shores of lakes where
there are upwelling springs and a moderately swift current