brook trout imageBrook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are not true trout.

When fishermen are told that the Brook trout is not a trout,(and after you’ve convinced them that you’re not joking) they ask the obvious next question.

What’s the difference between the Brook Trout (a Charr) and a real trout?

1. What sets the Charr apart from trout is that the Trout lack spines in the fins.

2. The fins are also different. But this is more of a generality as it’s not always the case. Most of the fins in trout are branched.

3. You’ll also find the trout’s pelvic fins are situated far back on the body. Many see the Charr as having positions close to that of the fish that led to legged mammals as the position of the pelvic fins are in the same place where legs are found in amphibians. Largemouth bass’s pelvic fins are so far forward, they’re almost directly beneath the pectoral fins.

4. Other indications of its primitive nature are

  • an adipose fin
  • it has a crude type of air bladder

Falsely Named Brook Trout

The Brook Trout is a member of the Salmonidae family, which also includes whitefish, salon, trout and grayling.

It’s actually classified as a charr, which includes 4 other species that we’ve covered here in bassfishing-gurus – lake trout, bull trout, Dolly Varden and arctic charr.

To the novice angler they might appear to be identical. However as we described there are differences.

Primitive Fish

Charr are considered primitive fish and their fossil remains date back 100 million years.

Popular Brook Trout Names

The Brook Trout is also called by many other names. Eastern brook trout, speckled trout, native, spotted trout, speckled charr, brook charr, salter, coaster, squaretail, brookie, aurora trout, mountain trout.

If you search you’ll find there are about 30 other names for the Brook Trout and many of them are in other languages as this is not an isolated fish.