With an olive back covered by wormlike markings, fiery spotted flanks, and white-trimmed fins, the brook trout is one of the most colorful fish in freshwater. The "brookie" is a char, closely related to the lake trout. Slow-growing and short-lived (rarely surviving eight years), few brookies surpass a pound. But where angler harvest is slight, they get bigger.
Brook trout live from Canada's Maritime Provinces south through the Appalachians and west through the Great Lakes to Manitoba. In Minnesota they are native to cold-water streams in the southeast and Lake Superior tributaries below the first barrier. They have been stocked in the upper reaches of Superior streams and many small lakes.
The species name fontinalis refers to cold-water springs feeding the waters where brookies live. Along Superior, some stream-hatched brookies migrate to the lake. These so-called coasters grow larger than stream-dwellers. They return to their natal streams to spawn.
Brookies spawn October through November. The female builds a nest, or redd, in gravel with an upwelling of spring water. Lying side by side, the female and male simultaneously release eggs and milt.
February 2, 2006 6:43 AM | Category: Animals