Scientific name: Salvelinus fontinalis
Identification: Brook trout are freshwater, medium-sized fish that are about 10.4 inches long on average. Their bodies range in color from green to brown to black, with orange dots surrounded by blue halos along their back. They have adipose fins, which are characteristic of salmonids, with white borders on their other fins.
Habitat: Brook trout generally live in small to medium sized flowing riverine waterways that are well oxygenated and cooler in temperature. They prefer rivers with well-established riparian buffers, tree snags, undercut banks, and shaded locations.
Overview: Brook trout are adfluvial fish, meaning they migrate between different freshwater systems. They mature at about two years old, but only live to be about 5 years old on average. Brook trout are prominent predators, but they are sensitive to disturbances. Habitat fragmentation and poor riparian zones affect brook trout populations, and many New Hampshire organizations study these effects as a way of determining status assessments.