Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

Salvelinus fontinalis

About This Animal

SIZE: Northern strain can grow up to 31 inches and 14.5 lbs. Southern Appalachian Brook Trout are much smaller, exceeding 12 inches

RANGE: Small streams in the Appalachian Mountains from southern Virginia to northern Georgia

HABITAT: Small mountain streams with pools, riffles and tree cover

LIFESPAN: Up to 10 years

ON EXHIBIT: Cove Forest in River Journey

About this Animal: The Brook Trout is the only native trout in the southeastern U.S. The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI) is working with a group of partners to propagate and reintroduce Southern Appalachian Brook Trout into their native range.  They are known for the white line on the front of their red bottom fin.

Threats: Habitat destruction, fragmentation, invasive species

Our Impact: In 2012-13 TNACI successfully spawned, raised, and released 255 trout using a recurculating aquaculture system (RAS).  This was the first time Southern Appalachian Brook Trout were raised in this manner.  We anticipate a long-term program with our partners to establish the best propagation practices for this species, monitor conservation needs of wild populations, and address research needs to increase our knowledge of the species.

Conservation status: Southern Appalachian Brook Trout are currently found in only 13% of their historical range in Tennessee, but angling is allowed in all states.