What it looks like

  • Back is brown; sides pale brown or silvery; belly is white
  • Large black, blue or red spots on body, often surrounded by lighter ring
  • Tail with few spots
  • The only salmon or trout with orange on adipose fin
  • Leading anal fin ray extends the length of the fin
  • Short, stocky caudal peduncle


  • length: 35-60 centimetres (14-24 inches)
  • weight: 0.45–1.36 kilograms (1-3 pounds)
  • Ontario record: 15.6 kilograms (34.4 pounds)

Similar fish

Where it is found

Range of the inland brown trout in Ontario


  • introduced into Ontario streams from Europe in 1913
  • now found throughout the Great Lakes and their tributaries, and streams in southern Ontario
  • most abundant in Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay, Great Lakes tributaries, inland stocked creeks
  • use Fish ON-Line, an interactive mapping tool, to find specific lakes and rivers


  • pools or ponds fed by streams
  • quiet, calm waters
  • turbulent, fast-flowing streams

Angling Tips

  • feed most aggressively at night
  • cast from piers and break-walls
  • use brook trout bait to catch the inland lakes variety
  • target the Great Lakes variety by trolling
  • look for the Great Lakes variety in shallower waters than rainbow trout and Chinook salmon
  • in the fall, catch the Great Lakes variety in tributaries using small spinners or plugs, or small baits beneath floats

Common Baits

  • spinners, spoons, jigs
  • small plugs, including those imitating minnows
  • flies, worms, roe


Illustration Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Map credit - modified from: Mandrak and Crossman (1992)