Brown trout

Salmo trutta

Common name:

Brown trout

Scientific name:

Salmo trutta

Alternative common names:

Finnock, peal, mort, and white trout (English).

Brown trout have a streamlined, spindle-shaped  body which is silver to olive-brown, yellow, with small scales and covered with large reddish-brown spots. In South African dams, this species can grow up to 75 cm in length and over 6 kg in weight, whereas in rivers, smaller specimens are found. This fish feeds on invertebrates, insect larvae, flying insects, and molluscs, as well as fish and frogs.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Europe.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 2 in National parks, Provincial Reserves, Mountain catchments areas and Forestry Reserves specified in terms of the Protected Areas Act and Fish Sanctuary Areas. NEMBA Category 2 for introduction into rivers.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Southern and Eastern Cape, the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal and highland areas of Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces.

    How does it spread?

    Self-sustaining populations are known from several river systems but they are sensitive to water quality and not as widespread as the rainbow trout.

    Why is it a problem?

    Brown trout have been linked to the decline of indigenous fish to predation and competition, most notably the Maloti minnow (Pseudobarbus quathlambae) in KwaZulu-Natal.

    What does it look like?

    Description: Brown trout have a streamlined, spindle-shaped body which is silver to olive-brown, yellow, with small scales and covered with large reddish-brown spots. It is a medium-sized fish, growing to 6kg or more and a length of about 75cm. They grown larger in dams and smaller in rivers. It has a very small scales and small fins. Habitat: Brown trout form stream-resident populations, typically in high-altitude streams, but sometimes in large rivers. They are more likely to be found near submerged rocks & logs, undercut banks, and overhanging banks. They can also be found in heavy and strong currents. They are sensitive to water quality and prefer cold, mountain streams and rivers. Breeding: A typical female produces about 2,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight when spawning. Breeds in autumn or early winter.