NC State Freshwater Fish

Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

Salvelinus fontinalis
Adopted 2005

The Southern Appalachian Brook Trout is the only native freshwater trout in North Carolina, and a favorite of sport fisherman.  Often called “speckled trout” or “specs”, they live in some of our cool, clean, well-oxygenated high mountain streams.  They feed voraciously on insects, aquatic invertebrates, and small fish, reaching sexual maturity at 1-2 years of age.  They spawn every year in the fall, and live an average of 3 to 4 years.  Females, depending on their size, can produce anywhere from 100 to 5,000 eggs.  Breeding males, which are golden on their sides and have bright orange or scarlet bellies and lower fins, are one of the most colorful of freshwater fishes.

Cool Links:

Brook Trout Restoration - "The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has begun a program to reintroduce the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout ... to as much of its original territory as possible."

GORP - Identifying the Brook Trout of Southern Appalachia - author Harry Middleton waxes lyrical about the Brook Trout.