Saltwater Trout vs Freshwater Trout

cutthroat trout

Trout are a popular group of fish among sportsmen. They constitute some of the finest fare in many fine restaurants. But included in the trout group are many different species. Some live in freshwater, some in saltwater, and yes, some live in both.

Almost all of them, fresh- or saltwater, are sought by fishermen all over the world. For that reason, it is important to equip yourself with the best trout fishing lures.

All About the Freshwater Trout

Freshwater Trout are a cool- and cold-water group of fish with long, slender bodies and fine-tasting flesh. They prefer clear, unpolluted streams and lakes.

Different species of fresh-water trout can be found in every continent except Antarctica, although they are most common in North America and Europe.

The main types of freshwater trout are: Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), Brown Trout (Salmo trutta), Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) and Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush).

All freshwater trout possess an adipose fin, a small fleshy fin on the back near the tail of the fish. Because they are so widely sought after by sport fishermen, many countries have hatcheries dedicated to the production of young trout for stocking programs.

Named for the pink stripe that extends from their head to tail, Rainbow trout are a very popular game fish in North America. Native to the western part of the continent, they have been introduced in the east and to other parts of the world. The largest ever caught weighed 46 lbs. They are commercially cultivated in many places.

Brook Trout are native to eastern North America. They inhabit cool, clean streams. They have been introduced elsewhere in North America, as well as to Iceland, Europe, and Asia. Native to Europe.

The Brown Trout is a wary fish, sought by skillful anglers. They inhabit both streams and lakes. They can tolerate warmer water than most other fresh-water trout and have been introduced widely.

rainbow trout

Cutthroat Trout, found in cold streams of western North America, is named for the distinctive red coloration on the lower parts of its jaw. Numerous sub-species exist, some of which are endangered. As with other trout, it is a prized catch for many anglers.

The Lake Trout rounds out the common types of fresh-water trout. This fish is actually not a trout at all, but a species of char. Nonetheless, most folks regard it as a trout. It inhabits deep, cold lakes and can grow to very large sizes. The biggest ever caught weighed 102 lbs. and was 50 in. long.

All About the Saltwater Trout

A number of warm-water ocean fish are called trout. By far and away the most common is the Spotted Sea Trout (Cynoscion nebulosus), also known as Speckled Trout, Speck and Weakfish. They are common in many near-shore and estuarine parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Seaboard.

Completely unrelated to freshwater trout, these fish nonetheless are prized as sport fish and fine table fare. Some Trout Live in both fresh and salt water.

Rainbow Trout have a natural desire to migrate back to the waters where they were hatched. In many cases, Rainbows spend much of their lives in the ocean or large lakes, where they can grow to large sizes.

These large trout lost their pink stripe and develop a silvery color with a darker head and top. These ocean-run rainbows are known as “Steelheads”. Other trout, such as Brown Trout, can be anadromous, meaning they live in both fresh- and saltwater like the Steelhead.