(Salvelinus fontinalis) thrive in cold, clear streams and lakes throughout Maine. “Brookies” vary in size depending on where they live–a mature fish in a lake may be 18 inches long, while a fish of the same age from a small stream could be less than half that size.
They generally mature at 2 years of age and spawn in the fall. Lake-dwelling fish may spawn in streams or along the shoreline of lakes if spring seepage occurs. Nests are constructed by the female on gravelly bottoms of streams or lakes.
Because brook trout favor cold, clear waters, native populations have been hurt in the past when stream and riverbanks are cleared of trees–the lack of shade allows water temperatures to rise, and erosion in cleared areas washes more silt into the streams, covering prime spawning habitat. Maintaining riparian buffers is crucial to keeping trout habitats healthy.