Brook trout

General information about brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), a cold-water fish species in Alberta.



  • Brook trout are among the most colourful trout. The back is dark green with pale wavy lines, while the sides have a purple sheen with blue-haloed red spots.
  • The lower fins have a black stripe behind a pale leading edge.


  • Originally native to eastern Canada, brook trout were introduced into Alberta's waters around 1903.

Natural History


  • Can be found in many of Alberta's foothill streams.
  • Are stocked in some pothole lakes where the low concentration of oxygen does not favour other species of trout.


  • The diet of brook trout includes aquatic invertebrates (insects, shrimps, etc.), and other fish.

Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • Brook trout spawn in October and the eggs hatch in the spring.
  • They can first spawn when they are 18 months old and only six centimetres (2.4 inches) long. This trait causes many brook trout populations to overcrowd their habitat resulting in individuals becoming stunted in size.

Conservation and Management


Because they are an introduced species, brook trout are classified as Exotic/Alien in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Current management


Brook trout are cold-water game fish subject to current Alberta sportfishing regulations. For details, see the My Wild Alberta website at: