The salmon migration may be one of the biggest attractions in the Credit River during fall, but what about all the other fish? Brook trout and brown trout spawn in fall too, but in smaller and quieter sections of the Credit River and its tributaries. Compared to migratory species, these resident fish spawn close to home.
Here are our top eight facts to highlight brook and brown trout:
1. Brook trout aren’t really trout at all. They’re actually char and more closely related to Arctic char than to rainbow trout.
2. The World Record brook trout was nearly three feet, weighed 14 pounds and nine years old.
3. Brook trout will only spawn on groundwater upwellings, where deep, cold water rises toward the surface. Other trout and salmon are less selective when they dig their nests, called redds, in gravel.
4. The colouration of male brook and brown trout intensifies during the spawning season to help them attract a mate.
5. Both brook and brown trout can spawn multiple times over the course of their lives, unlike Pacific salmon who only spawn once. A large female brook trout can produce about 5,000 eggs each spawning season.
6. Despite being considered resident fish, brown trout do some travelling. They often swim tens of kilometers, often only to return to their starting location.
7. Brook and brown trout are sensitive species because they require cold and clean water to survive and thrive. They’re also considered “indicator species” because their presence serves as a measure of the health of the Credit River. Brown trout are non-native but have been naturalized.
8. Trout and salmon are just one of over 20 families of fish in the watershed.
More than 70 fish species call the Credit River Watershed home. Our Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program (IWMP) monitors resident fish communities. We usually collect, study and release forty or more species and thousands of individual fish each year.
Learn more about brook and brown trout and other species found in the watershed.
Learn more about our Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program.
By Kurtis Plourde-Rideout, Technician, Watershed Monitoring