Trout are freshwater fish that have similar characteristics to Salmon. The difference is that Salmon is seawater fish.
Trout and salmon may share a similar appearance and palate, but they remain separate species of fish.
Salmon is a saltwater fish with higher fat content while trout are generally larger and found in freshwater sources with lower fat content.
The size differences will become apparent by looking at the trout records highlighted in this article. All records discussed are approved by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA).
Trout can be identified as they have fins entirely without spines, an adipose fin along the back, near the tail, and pelvic fins that sit well back on the body on each side of the anus.
World Record Trouts
Although there are a variety of trout species that vary in size and dimensions, there is an ultimate record for the overall trout genus.
We will describe the world record sizes for the different species below.
However, on an overall level, the Lake Trout seems to be the biggest trout in nature that is kept on record.
The world record Lake Trout weighed in at 72 pounds measuring 59 inches in length and a solid 32-inch girth. It was landed on Aug. 19, 1995, by Lloyd Bull while fishing on the Northwest Territories’ Great Bear Lake.
World Record Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout are from the Salmonidae Family and are also known as Steelhead, Kamloops, Redband Trout, Eagle Lake Trout, Kern River Trout, Shasta Trout, San Gorgonio Trout, Nelson Trout, Whitney Trout, Silver Trout.
The IGFA World Record Rainbow Trout weighing in at 48 pounds was landed by Sean Konrad rainbow on September 5, 2009, while fishing Saskatchewan’s Lake Diefenbaker, Canada. This Rainbow Trout measured 42-inch in length and had a 32-inch girth.
This Rainbow Trout eclipsed the previous world record by eclipsing the then 2-year-old record held by his twin brother. That’s what you call keeping it in the family.
Konrad used a Shimano Claris rod with an Abu Garcia 104 reel spooled with a 14-pound PowerPro braided line.
The world record for the longest Rainbow Trout is a 37-inch specimen caught by Mark Armistead in the Ohau River, Twizel, New Zealand on October 9, 2020.
Although native to North America’s West Coast and inland up to central Alberta
Rainbow Trout displays its adaptability and hardiness as it can be found in waters around the globe coming in a variety of sizes depending on the breeding grounds.
World Record Bull Trout
Bull trout are also called Western Brook Trout, Rocky Mountain Trout, Red Spotted Salmon Trout, and Red Spotted Char.
The original world all-tackle record was set on Oct. 27, 1949, by N. Higgins when he landed a 32-pound Bull Trout measuring 40 ½ inches in length and a 30-inch girth. This record has not been bettered since the catch many decades ago.
Higgins used a Satterlee rod with a Pfleuger Pakron reel and a Lucky Louie Plug lure.
The largest Bull Trout ever caught weighed in at a remarkable 102 pounds measuring an incredible 60 inches in length.
Unfortunately, the two anglers that caught the monster on Lake Athabasca in 1961 used gill nets which makes the record incompatible with IGFA classification.
Bull trout are migratory fish making long journeys across lakes high into the mountain streams to lay their eggs.
Once the eggs have been deposited in the mountain stream the Bull trout return to the large lakes where they spend their winter while feeding on other fish.
Bull Trout fare best in cool water, between 59 degrees F and 64 degrees F, where there are multiple deep pools.
Other than the migrations to the mountain stream Bull Trout are territorial and remain in the same stream or creek for life. This limits the size of the fish, and they rarely grow larger than 10 inches long.
Although their existence was threatened by non-native species such as the Lake Trout the intervention of Idaho Fish and Game to reduce the number of Lake Trout benefitted the Rainbow Trout as well as the Bull Trout.
Biggest Lake Trout Ever Caught
Lake Trout are part of the Salmonidae Family and are also called Mackinaw, Great Lakes Trout Or Char, Salmon Trout, Landlocked Salmon, Gray Trout, Great Gray Trout, Mountain Trout, Laker, Tongue, Taque, Namaycush Or Masamacush, Siscowet, Fat, Paperbelly, Bank Trout, Humper.
The IGFA record for Lake Trout is currently standing at a remarkable 72 pounds. This behemoth measuring 59 inches in length and a girth of 32 inches was caught with a Phillipson rod with a Penn 49M reel and 30-pound Cortland line by Lloyd Bull on Great Bear Lake, Canada on August 19, 1995.
The longest Lake Trout ever caught measured 42.5 inches and was caught in Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada, by Michael J. Sadar on August 21, 2014.
Lake Trout are some of the largest trout that eat fish that does not swim in schools but remain in cold water.
As Lake Trout prefer cooler waters they can be found in deeper waters as the temperatures on land become warmer.
Brown Trout is from the Salmonidae Family and is also called German Brown Trout, European Brown Trout, Sea Trout, Lake Trout, Brook Trout, River Trout, Bull Trout, English Trout, Von Behr Trout, Lochleven Trout, German Trout, Breac, Gealag, Brownie.
The size of the largest Brown Trout caught is slightly controversial.
Current world record is held by Seumas Petrie with a 44-pound that measures 38.58 inches long and a 34-inch girth.
This Brown Trout was caught on Oct. 27, 2020, in Twizel, New Zealand’s (South Island) Ohau Canal. using an Okuma rod with a Shimano reel, using a light 6-pound Berkely line.
What makes this controversial is that it was caught in hydro canals in New Zealand where the Brown Trout lives on leftovers from the fish farming that occurs in the region. This gives trout a unique opportunity to grow quite large.
The longest Brown Trout ever caught is a 38.1-inch catch in Milwaukee Harbor, Wisconsin, USA, by Eric Haataja on December 16, 2011.
Brown Trout is native to Europe and parts of Asia, from Afghanistan and the Aral Sea across Europe to the British Isles and Iceland, and back across Scandinavia to Poluostrov Kanin (Cape Kanin), in Russia, on the Barents Sea. Its popularity helped it to enjoy great popularity and assisted it in gaining a strong foothold globally including the Great Lakes in North America.
Aroura Trout as a species was nearly extinct and for this reason, it is a protected species thus affecting the number of fish that can be caught. While the species recover Aurora Trout remains small.
The current world record Aurora Trout was caught by Luc Pilon in 1999 in the Aurora Trout lakes. It weighed in at 6 pounds, 10.24 ounces.
However, the record that is recognized by IGFA stands at 4 pounds 14 ounces. caught in Carol Lake, Ontario, Canada, by Robert Bernardo on Oct 8, 1996.
Aurora Trout was unique to Whitepine Lake and Whirlygig Lake until they disappeared in the 1960s as a result of acid rain.
In 1983 catching Aurora Trout was stopped and the species was placed on the endangered species in 1987.
All 28 of the Aurora Trout that were still in the lakes were caught and used in breeding to revive the species.
Due to the limited numbers in nature Aurora Trout is now considered the rarest trout in the world.
Golden Trout is of the Salmonidae Family and is also known as Kern River trout.
The biggest Golden Trout was landed by Chas Reed on Aug. 5, 1948, weighing in at a world record 11 pounds, and measuring 28-inch in length.
Reed caught the Golden trout in Wyoming’s Cooks Lake using an Airex rod, reel, and line.
Golden Trout are native only to the upper Kern River basin in Tulare and Kern Counties, California hence it has only one other name that is associated with the Golden Trout.
They are generally only found at high altitudes of 6,890 feet or higher.
To increase the availability of Golden Trout they have been introduced to Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming, where some believe they are breeding with Cutthroats to create a hybrid species,
Brook Trout belongs to the Salmonidae Family and are also called Eastern Brook Trout, Speckled or Spotted Trout, Aurora Trout, Mountain Trout, Speckled Char, Brook Char, Salter, Sea Trout, Square Tailed Trout, Square Tail, Mud Trout, Brookie, Breac, Coaster, Native Trout.
The biggest Brook Trout was landed on July 21, 1915, by Dr. J.W. Cook in Ontario’s Nipigon River.
The fish weighed in at 14 pounds, 8 ounces. Few other details are available.
The longest Brook Trout ever caught measured 18.5 inches caught by James Schmid in Corcovado River, Argentina on April 5, 2022.
It is native to northeastern North America from the Great Lakes north to the Hudson Bay and the Atlantic and Arctic coasts.
Brook Trout can also be found in the Appalachians southeast of the Great Lakes to the northeastern corner of Georgia.
To thrive Brook Trout inhabits clear mountain streams and lakes where the water temperature is steady between 57 degrees F and 61degrees F. You are unlikely to find Brook Trout in warmer waters exceeding 68 degrees F while water measuring more than 77 degrees F is generally fatal for Brook Trout.
Tiger Trout is part of the Salmonidae Family which is a cross between a female brown trout (Salmo trutta) and a male brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Although it is primarily an artificial cross it has been known to occur in nature.
The biggest tiger trout on record was caught on June 26, 2021, by Caylun Peterson in Loon Lake, Washington, USA.
It weighed in at a solid 24 pounds, 8 ounces measuring 34.50 inches in length, and a solid 25-inch girth.
Peterson used a Shakespeare rod and Okuma reel.
Genetic differences between the female brown trout and male brook trout result in a high mortality rate of the eggs and alevin with approximately 65% of hatchery specimens not surviving.
When this occurs in nature, the mortality rate is even higher as the majority of eggs and alevin perish due to predation.
Although the hybrid species can survive it cannot reproduce naturally.
With a variety of trout species found mainly in North America, you would expect them to come in different sizes and colors.
In this article, we looked at a section of trout and how they compare in size, length, and girth providing you with some background regarding their origins and where they are likely to be found.
This will assist you in selecting the best place if you are looking for a specific species, or to identify a trout when caught.
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