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Home Trout Preferred Trout Habitat by Species

Preferred Trout Habitat by Species in North Carolina


Preferred Trout Habitat by Species

  Brook Trout HabitatBrown Trout HabitatRainbow Trout Habitat

Typical Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout Habitats




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      Different species of trout have different habitat preferences that can be identified by the depth of the water, the speed of the current, the amount of aeration (white water), the color of the bottom, and the water’s temperature. However, the single most important factor in a trout's life is the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water which is controlled by the water's ambient temperaturer. Thus, the colder the water is, the more dissolved oxygen it can hold and the warmer it is the less it can hold. Therefore, a lie that holds fish in the morning when the water is cool may not hold fish in the afternoon when the water has warmed up a bit. So, it is helpful to think of each seperate species of trout as having a distinctly different personality based upon its oxygen requirements which in turn affects the type of habitat they choose to inhabit.



Typical Brook Trout Habitat -

Picture of Brook Trout Habitat

Typical Brook Trout Habitat


      Brook trout tend to have a personality like the shy cutie that lives next door because they are very reclusive and like dark, heavily shaded streams. The reason for ths is that they require more oxygen and colder water and than either Rainbow or Brown trout do. Thus, look for Brook trout in secluded streams with a fast-flowing current and dense overhanging foliage and especially on such streams with inflowing springs. However, there are also many lakes and ponds at higher elevations that support excellent Brook trout populations but, their range is somewhat more limited than either Rainbow or  Brown trout.




Typical Brown Trout Habitat -

Picture of Brown Trout Habitat


Typical Brown Trout Habitat


     I like to think of Brown trout as having personalities like reclusive, grumpy, old men. Also, they require less oxygen than either Brooks or Rainbows and thus they prefer slower water where they can expend less energy to obtain their food. However, since it is much easier for a bird to see into calm or still water, Brown trout tend to hold very close to shelter and smaller Browns will often not travel more than a short distace from shelter to obtain food. On the other hand, larger Browns are very aggressive ambush predators and like to attack larger prey when it comes within an acceptable range. So, look for Brown trout in calm pockets and pools with dark bottoms, next to submerged rocks, ledges, and logs, or deep within crevasses and undercut banks.




Typical Rainbow Trout Habitat -

Picture of Rainbow Trout Habitat

Typical Rainbow Trout Habitat


     Rainbows tend to have a personality like rowdy teenagers with an aggressive attitude. Thus, they have a distinct preference for areas with a high current flow in which there is a high degree of dissolved oxygen. Consequently, they are usually found either in, or adjacent to, fast flowing currrent in places like plunge pools, riffles, and in deep runs with rocky bottoms. However, Rainbows are also found in many high elevation lakes and ponds and since they have a slightly lower dissolved oxygen content requirement than Brook trout do, they have a somewhat wider range.




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