Brown Trout

Salmo trutta


A medium to large fish, the brown trout lives in fast-flowing, stony and gravelly rivers. Brown trout are predatory fish, feeding on insect larvae, small fish and flying insects such as mayflies and damselflies. Spawning occurs between January and March when females (accompanied by a number of males) lay their eggs on gravelly beds. Fertilised externally, the eggs are buried in the gravel. The young fish (fry) hatch and feed on the nutritious yolk sac before moving on to feed on invertebrates.

How to identify

The brown trout is a silvery-brown fish with a dark back and creamy-yellow belly. The back and sides are spotted with reddish spots with pale borders. Much smaller than the Atlantic salmon. It can be distinguished from the rainbow trout by its plain, dark tail fin and the lack of a purple side-stripe.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The brown trout is an economically important fish and is particularly popular with anglers. Therefore, it is important both for people and wildlife that we keep stocks of brown trout healthy. Working with landowners, anglers, politicians, statutory bodies and water companies to promote wildlife-friendly practices, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a Living Landscape: a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Brown Trout
Latin name
Salmo trutta
Freshwater fish
Length: 50-80cm Weight: up to 2kg Average Lifespan: up to 5 years
Conservation status
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.