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Trout

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TROUT, any of the various smaller species of fresh-water fishes of the family (q.v.) ; especially a "chary" of the genus Sal velinus, and specifically the speckled or brook trout of eastern North America (S. fontinalis). The name comes originally from the European brown trout (S. fans). The distinction be tween the closely related salmon-trouts (q.v.) and the true trouts, or charrs, is most surely found in the character of the dentition. Harris has explained the difference as follows: "Put your finger in the mouth of your cap ture, and if you find the vomer, a bone situated on the front part of the roof of the mouth, flat, with teeth on its body, and behind these an irregular single or double series of teeth, you hold in your hand a salmon-trout. If you find the vomer much depressed, convex and shaped like a boat, with teeth on the head of the bone, and none on its shaft, you have a charr under inspection." All of the American charrs, except the Dolly Varden and three of the Arctic species, are natives of the waters east of the Mississippi, the common brook or speckled trout being the most widely distributed. The last species may be known at sight by the worm-like markings on the back, red spots on the sides, the large mouths, blunt snouts and dark mottlings on their ddrsal and tail fins. It is the most beauti ful of all the charrs by reason, as Harris writes, of the mantle of rose and violet which it wears, the mellow diffusion of which suggests and Justifies the descriptive phrase so often applied to it by anglers --"the bloom of the trout.' is to be found in the streams flowing north into the Arctic Ocean, as far west as Victoria Land; ranging north and westward to the tributaries of the Great Lakes, and as far south as the southern spur of the Georgia Alleghanies. It also occurs near the sources of some of the rivers flowing into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The habits of trout are as various as the streams in which they dwell and the moods of the weather, and find constant novelty in studying them in an effort to overcome their devious and cunning ways Their breeding is alter the general method of their race, but they never go down into salt water. They mate late iii, summer, and the keeps off intruders. The uses her tad in making the nest, whipping the gravel until a hole is made about two inch* deep, and then cleans the bottom for a foot more around the hole. When she is ready to sewn the male knows it and approaches her. The ova are then dropped and the milt is deposited upoip the egA the male being within a few inches OJ his con sort. This occurs in northern New En land in November or early December; farther orth at early dates. But many of the eggs fail to be' come fertilized, dropping down stream n the current ; they arc devoured by minnows or 'pale: fish who are lurking in the vicinity. Pro:habl); not 5 per cent of the ova dropped on spawning beds ever mature, while of Ca raised by the improved methods of the fish turist fully 80 to 90 per cent come to maturg in the hatching ponds. Unfortunately thee raised by the artificial process are generat placed, when fingerlings, in streams aboundulg with their natural enemies, and but a small pa• centage of these innocents become yearlings, at which age they are able to take care of them selves.

The charrs are also represented in Maine and New Hampshire by the Sunapee trout (Salvelinus alpinus aureolus), which is classi fied by ichthyologists as a local variety of the European charr or saibling (S. alpinus), liar in its local coloration and other character istics. It is "brownish, sides silver-gray, with small orange spots on sides above and below lateral line; caudal grayish; belly orange; anal orange, edged before with white; ventrals orange with a white band on outer rays; no mottlings anywhere." This beautiful charr is as good to cat as it is good to catch. It reaches a weight of 10 pounds and rises freely to the fly in May and early June, after which, as the water grows warmer, it settles into deeper water, and in July and August takes a live minnow and fights finely at a depth of 50 to 60 feet. It is connected with its European type by the arctic trout, a variety (arcturus) of the Arctic Coast north of Hudson Bay and variety stagnalis of the rivers of Greenland and Boothia.

The quasky, or blueback trout (S. oguassa), is the smallest and one of the handsomest of the charr trouts. It never exceeds 12 inches in length and is dark blue, the red spots small and round and usually confined to the sides of the body. Its habitat is confined to Moose lucmaguntic Lake, of the Rangeley system, in Maine, although Professor Merriam states that identical fish have been caught in the lower Saint Lawrence River weighing six or seven pounds. The blueback lies concealed in. the deep water during the greater part of the year, but about 10 October comes near the shore and ascends in shoals the Kennebago River for the purpose of spawning. Half a mile above its mouth the Kennebago receives the outlet of Lake Oquassa; the trout then leaves the Ken nebago to the left and runs toward Oquassa Lake, when its voyage comes to an end. About the middle of November it goes back to Moose lucmaguntic Lake and is seen no more until October of the next year. The blueback re sembles the Sunapee trout more than any other of the charr species, yet differs from it in size, spawning habits and markings of the young. Varieties of it are known in certain lakes in northern Quebec and in rivers of the Arctic Coast. The only trout native to the waters west of the Rocky Mountains is the red-spotted, bull or Dolly Varden (S. tnalma). It is found in the streams east and west of the Cascade Range from the upper Sacramento to Montana. It is a gaudy and large species, and good, but is not the equal of its Eastern congeners in game qualities.

Trout are justly regarded as the most inter esting of all the smaller fishes that attract the angler. They are taken with the garden worm, the grub, the live minnow and the artificial fly by the method explained in the article ANGLING (q.v.). For artificial cultivation, see FISH