The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Salvelinus fontinalis
Salvelinus fontinalis
(Brook Trout)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill, 1814)

Common name: Brook Trout

Synonyms and Other Names: Speckled Trout, Brook Charr or Char, Coaster Trout refers to sea-run (anadromous) or lake-run (potadromous) populations.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Scott and Crossman (1973); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: 70 cm.

Native Range: Most of eastern Canada from Newfoundland to western side of Hudson Bay; south in Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins to Minnesota and (in Appalachian Mountains) northern Georgia (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Salvelinus fontinalis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL197119711Upper Tallapoosa
AK1920200212Admiralty Island; Anchorage; Baranof Island; Burroughs Bay; Chilkat-Skagway Rivers; Glacier Bay; Icy Strait-Chatham Strait; Ketchikan; Lynn Canal; Prince of Wales; Stikine River; Thomas Bay
AZ1917200411Black; Grand Canyon; Lake Mead; Little Colorado Headwaters; Lower Colorado Region; Middle Little Colorado; Tonto; Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir; Upper Salt; Upper Verde; Whitewater Draw
AR198820196Beaver Reservoir; Bull Shoals Lake; Dardanelle Reservoir; Lake Conway-Point Remove; Lower White; North Fork White
CA1872202258Battle Creek; Butte Creek; California; California Region; Central California Coastal; Clear Creek-Sacramento River; Crowley Lake; East Walker; Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys; Fresno River; Goose Lake; Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather; Honey-Eagle Lakes; Lake Tahoe; Lower Klamath; Lower Pit; Lower Sacramento; Mad-Redwood; McCloud; Mojave; Mono Lake; Monterey Bay; Newport Bay; North Fork American; North Fork Feather; Northern California Coastal; Owens Lake; Sacramento Headwaters; Salmon; San Diego; San Francisco Bay; San Francisco Bay; San Pablo Bay; Santa Ana; Santa Maria; Scott; Shasta; South Fork American; Suisun Bay; Surprise Valley; Trinity; Truckee; Tulare Lake Bed; Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes; Upper Carson; Upper Coon-Upper Auburn; Upper Cosumnes; Upper Kaweah; Upper Kern; Upper King; Upper Klamath; Upper Merced; Upper Pit; Upper Sacramento; Upper San Joaquin; Upper Stanislaus; Upper Tuolumne; Upper Yuba
CO1874202233Alamosa-Trinchera; Arkansas Headwaters; Big Thompson; Blue; Cache La Poudre; Clear; Colorado Headwaters; Conejos; Eagle; Fountain; Huerfano; Little Snake; Lower Gunnison; Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek; North Platte Headwaters; Piedra; Purgatoire; Rio Grande Headwaters; San Luis; San Miguel; South Fork Republican; South Platte; South Platte Headwaters; St. Vrain; Tomichi; Upper Arkansas; Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith; Upper Dolores; Upper Gunnison; Upper Laramie; Upper South Platte; Upper White; Upper Yampa
DE187219912Brandywine-Christina; Mid Atlantic Region
GA1971201410Apalachicola Basin; Conasauga; Coosawattee; Etowah; Middle Savannah; Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga; Savannah; Tugaloo; Upper Chattahoochee; Upper Coosa
HI187618963Hawaii; Hawaii Region; Kauai
ID1896202264American Falls; Bear Lake; Beaver-Camas; Big Lost; Big Wood; Birch; Blackfoot; Boise-Mores; Bruneau; Clearwater; Coeur d'Alene Lake; Goose; Hangman; Idaho Falls; Kootenai; Lake Walcott; Lemhi; Little Lost; Little Salmon; Little Wood; Lochsa; Lower Bear; Lower Bear-Malad; Lower Boise; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Henrys; Lower Kootenai; Lower North Fork Clearwater; Lower Salmon; Medicine Lodge; Middle Bear; Middle Fork Clearwater; Middle Fork Payette; Middle Kootenai; Middle Salmon-Chamberlain; Middle Salmon-Panther; Middle Snake-Succor; Moyie; North and Middle Forks Boise; North Fork Payette; Pacific Northwest Region; Pahsimeroi; Palouse; Payette; Pend Oreille Lake; Portneuf; Priest; Raft; Salt; South Fork Clearwater; South Fork Coeur d'Alene; South Fork Payette; South Fork Salmon; Spokane; Teton; Upper Coeur d'Alene; Upper Henrys; Upper Middle Fork Salmon; Upper North Fork Clearwater; Upper Salmon; Upper Snake-Rock; Upper Spokane; Weiser; Willow
IL197919862Kishwaukee; Lower Rock
IN190119687Eel; Kankakee; Little Calumet-Galien; Lower East Fork White; Ohio Region; St. Joseph; Sugar
KY196519863Lower Kentucky; Upper Cumberland; Upper Kentucky
MI1879201212Au Gres-Rifle; Clinton; Flint; Kalamazoo; Lower Grand; Maple; Muskegon; Pere Marquette-White; Pine; St. Joseph; Thornapple; Tittabawassee
MN1885200910Clearwater-Elk; Little Fork; Middle Minnesota; Minnesota; Mississippi Headwaters; Platte-Spunk; Rainy; Red; Sauk; Upper Mississippi-Crow-Rum
MT1889201562Arrow; Battle; Beaver; Beaverhead; Belly; Belt; Big Hole; Big Horn Lake; Big Sandy; Bitterroot; Blackfoot; Boulder; Bullwhacker-Dog; Clarks Fork Yellowstone; Fisher; Flathead Lake; Flint-Rock; Gallatin; Jefferson; Judith; Kootenai; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Flathead; Lower Yellowstone; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Madison; Marias; Middle Clark Fork; Middle Fork Flathead; Middle Kootenai; Middle Milk; Missouri-Poplar; Moyie; Musselshell; North Fork Flathead; Pend Oreille; Peoples; Powder; Red Rock; Ruby; Shields; Smith; South Fork Flathead; St. Marys; Stillwater; Stillwater; Sun; Swan; Teton; Tongue; Two Medicine; Upper Clark Fork; Upper Little Missouri; Upper Milk; Upper Missouri; Upper Missouri; Upper Missouri-Dearborn; Upper Musselshell; Upper Yellowstone; Upper Yellowstone; Yaak; Yellowstone Headwaters
NE1873202016Big Papillion-Mosquito; Calamus; Hat; Lewis and Clark Lake; Lower Elkhorn; Lower Niobrara; Lower North Platte; Lower Platte; Middle Niobrara; Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff; Middle Republican; Missouri Region; Niobrara Headwaters; North Platte; Upper White; West Fork Big Blue
NV1881202234Bruneau; Central Lahontan; Diamond-Monitor Valleys; Dixie Valley; Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys; Hamlin-Snake Valleys; Lake Mead; Lake Tahoe; Little Humboldt; Long-Ruby Valleys; Lower Humboldt; Massacre Lake; Middle Carson; Middle Humboldt; North Fork Humboldt; Northern Big Smoky Valley; Pacific Northwest; Pilot-Thousand Springs, Nevada, Utah; Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes; Ralston-Stone Cabin Valleys; Reese; Salmon Falls; South Fork Humboldt; South Fork Owyhee; Southern Big Smoky Valley; Spring-Steptoe Valleys; Thousand-Virgin; Truckee; Upper Carson; Upper Humboldt; Upper Owyhee; Upper Quinn; Walker; White
NJ195220042Cohansey-Maurice; Lower Delaware
NM1895200212Canadian Headwaters; Mora; Pecos Headwaters; Rio Chama; Rio Grande-Albuquerque; Rio Grande-Santa Fe; Rio San Jose; San Francisco; Tularosa Valley; Upper Pecos; Upper Rio Grande; Upper San Juan
NC199120152South Fork Catawba; Upper Yadkin
OH188520095Little Miami; Lower Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio; Muskingum; Sandusky; Upper Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio
OR1894202323Alvord Lake; Clackamas; Little Deschutes; Lower Deschutes; Lower Rogue; Mckenzie; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Fork Willamette; North Fork John Day; North Umpqua; Powder; South Santiam; Sprague; Summer Lake; Tualatin; Umatilla; Upper Deschutes; Upper Klamath Lake; Upper Malheur; Upper Rogue; Wallowa; Warner Lakes; Williamson
PA199920092Kiskiminetas; Lower Monongahela
SC197119711Upper Savannah
SD188620109Lower Belle Fourche; Middle Cheyenne-Elk; Middle Cheyenne-Spring; Minnesota; Missouri Region; Rapid; Redwater; South Fork Grand; Upper Lake Oahe
TX198119942Middle Guadalupe; Upper Guadalupe
UT1875202023Blacks Fork; Duchesne; East Fork Sevier; Escalante; Escalante Desert; Fremont; Jordan; Little Bear-Logan; Lower Colorado-Lake Mead; Lower Green-Diamond; Lower San Juan-Four Corners; Lower Weber; Paria; Provo; Raft; Strawberry; Upper Bear; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Sevier; Upper Virgin; Upper Weber; Utah Lake; Willow
VA194519944Middle New; Powell; Upper Clinch, Tennessee, Virginia; Upper James
WA1894201835Banks Lake; Colville; Dungeness-Elwha; Duwamish; Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake; Hangman; Hood Canal; Kettle; Klickitat; Lake Washington; Lewis; Little Spokane; Lower Chehalis; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Cowlitz; Lower Crab; Lower Snake-Tucannon; Lower Spokane; Middle Columbia-Hood; Naches; Okanogan; Pacific Northwest Region; Palouse; Pend Oreille; Puget Sound; Puyallup; Queets-Quinault; San Juan Islands; Sanpoil; Upper Columbia; Upper Cowlitz; Upper Crab; Upper Yakima; Wenatchee; Yakima
WI200020082Door-Kewaunee; Middle Rock
WY1880202257Big Horn; Big Horn Lake; Big Sandy; Blacks Fork; Central Bear; Cheyenne; Clarks Fork Yellowstone; Clear; Crazy Woman; Crow; Glendo Reservoir; Great Divide Closed Basin; Greybull; Greys-Hoback; Gros Ventre; Horse; Little Bighorn; Little Medicine Bow; Little Powder; Little Snake; Lower Henrys; Lower Laramie; Madison; Medicine Bow; Middle Fork Powder; Middle North Platte-Casper; Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff; Muddy; Muddy; New Fork; North Fork Shoshone; North Platte; Nowood; Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs; Popo Agie; Salt; Shoshone; Snake Headwaters; South Fork Powder; South Fork Shoshone; South Platte; Sweetwater; Teton; Upper Bear; Upper Belle Fourche; Upper Bighorn; Upper Green; Upper Green; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Green-Slate; Upper Laramie; Upper North Platte; Upper Tongue; Upper Wind; Upper Yellowstone; White - Yampa; Yellowstone Headwaters

Table last updated 4/13/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Means of Introduction: This species has been stocked for sportfishing since the 1800s. It was first stocked in Arizona in 1920 (Rinne 1995). It was stocked in Missouri from 1879 to 1914 (Pflieger 1971).

Status: Established locally in many areas. This species is native to portions of the Great Lakes basin, but non-native in some inland lakes of the basin. Previously established in Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Extirpated via rotenone treatments in 2015 and 2016; currently monitoring and eDNA testing (Ertel 2018).

Impact of Introduction: In Black Hollow Creek, near Fort Collins, Colorado, stocked Brook Trout completely replaced greenback cutthroat trout O. clarki stomias within a period of five years (Behnke 1992, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1995). Brook Trout also have replaced Lahontan cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi in areas where the cutthroat is native and Brook Trout have been introduced. Introduced Brook Trout, and other trout species, were likely responsible for the near-extinction of Lahontan cutthroat in Lake Tahoe in the 1940s (McAffee 1966b). Becker (1983) hypothesized that Brook Trout may have been responsible for lack of success in establishing grayling populations by stocking because of the Brook Trout's more aggressive nature. Introduced Brook Trout inhabit approximately 40% of bull trout S. confluentus streams in Montana and may be replacing native bull trout in that state through hybridization. Almost all the resulting hybrids are sterile. Bull trout are now a species of special concern in Montana (Holton 1990; Kand et al. 2002). Introduced Brook Trout are known to replace native golden trout O. aguabonita (McAffee 1966a; Moyle 2002). Introduced predatory fishes, including the Brook Trout, are likely at least partially responsible for the decline of the Chiricahua leopard frog Rana chiricahuensis in southeastern Arizona (Rosen et al. 1995).

Remarks: A popular sport fish, especially with fly fishermen. Tyus et al. (1982) mapped the distribution of Brook Trout in the upper Colorado basin. Loyacano (1975) lists Brook Trout in the Santee-Cooper and Savannah drainages in South Carolina but does not indicate that it is introduced. Rohde et al. (1994) do not show it in the Santee-Cooper drainage in South Carolina. Swift et al. (1986) listed it as native to the Savannah (South Carolina/Georgia), Chattahoochee (Georgia), and Coosa (Georgia) drainages. Hocutt et al. (1986) listed it as native but possibly introduced to the Santee drainage (SC). Etnier and Starnes (1993) listed the native status of this species as uncertain in the Conasauga (Coosa) system. Underhill (1986) listed it as native to Isle Royal in Lake Superior (Michigan). Stauffer et al. (1995) listed this species as native to the Kanawha below the falls, and as probably present and native to the Little Kanawha drainage in West Virginia. Starnes et al. (2011) state that Brook Trout were present in some headwaters of the Difficult Run system (Potomac River drainage), listing it as possibly non-native, but is now extirpated from the region. Neville and Bernatchez (2013) examined the population genetics of Idaho river populations and available hatchery strains, finding a large degree of genetic structuring both within and among river populations, and a high degree of likely admixture of hatchery strains in the wild. These genetic data also showed that while the sampled hatchery populations were the likely origin for most Brook Trout in Idaho, a substantial portion were derived from an unknown genetic origin; this genetic mixing of Brook Trout strains likely increased the diversity of founding populations, and enhanced establishment and invasion success. Koenig et al. (2015) examined the ability of stocked Tiger Muskellunge (Esox lucius x E. masquinongy) to reduce or eradicate Brook Trout populations in high alpine lakes in Idaho, finding >90% reduction in Brook Trout catch per unit effort in tiger muskellunge-stocked lakes with 0-1 inlets or outlets.

Fact sheet and distribution map for splake [Salvelinus fontinalis x namaycush] is available here.


References: (click for full references)

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press Madison, WI.

Behnke, R.J. 1992. Native trout of western North America. American Fisheries Society Monograph 6. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Burkhead, N.M., S.J. Walsh, B.J. Freeman, and J.D. Williams. 1997. Status and restoration of the Etowah River, an imperiled southern Appalachian ecosystem. Pages 375-444 in Benz, G.W., and D.E. Collins, eds. Aquatic fauna in peril: the southeastern perspective. Southeast Aquatic Research Institute, Lenz Design & Communications. Decatur, GA.

Delong, J. 2002. Nevada Focus: stocked fish upset Lake Tahoe ecosystem. San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. August 6, 2002.

Ertel, B. 2018. Preservation of Native Cutthroat Trout in Northern Yellowstone. https://www.nps.gov/articles/preservation-of-native-cutthroat-trout-in-northern-yellowstone.htm. Accessed on 04/23/2018.

Etnier, D.A. and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Griffiths, F. P. 1939. Considerations of the Introduction and Distribution of Exotic Fishes in Oregon. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 69:240-243.

Hocutt, C. H., R. E. Jenkins, and J. R. Stauffer Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes. pp. 161-212.

Insider Viewpoint. 2001. Fishing Records – Nevada. Insider Viewpoint Magazine. 3 pp.

Kanda, N., R.F. Leary, and F.W. Allendorf. 2002. Evidence on introgressive hybridization between bull trout and brook trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 131: 772-782.

Koenig, M.K., K.A. Meyer, J.R. Kozfkay, J.M. DuPont, and E.B. Schriever. 2015. Evaluating the ability of Tiger Muskellunge to eradicate Brook Trout in Idaho alpine lakes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 35(4):659-670. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02755947.2015.1035467

Loyacano, H.A., Jr. 1975. A list of freshwater fishes of South Carolina. Bulletin of the South Carolina Experimental Station 580:1-9.

McAffee, W.R. 1966a. Golden trout. Pages 216-221 in Calhoun, A, ed. Inland fisheries management. California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento, CA.

McAffee, W.R. 1966b. Lahontan cutthroat trout. Pages 225-231 in Calhoun, A, ed. Inland fisheries management. California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento, CA.

Mecklenburg, C. W.,  et. al. 2002 Fishes of Alaska. Amercian Fisheries Society. 1037 pp.

Miller, R.R. and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona, p 133-151, In: C.H. Lowe, ed. The Vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.

Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. Second edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Neville, H.M., and L. Bernatchez. 2013. Coding gene single nucleotide polymorphism population genetics of nonnative brook trout: the ghost of introductions past. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142(5):1215-1231. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00028487.2013.793613

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

Rohde, F.C., R.G. Arndt, D.G. Lindquist, and J.F. Parnell. 1994. Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC.

Rosen, P.C., C.R. Schwalbe, D.A. Parizek, Jr., P.A. Holm, and C.H. Lowe. 1995. Introduced aquatic vertebrates in the Chiricahua region: effects on declining native ranid frogs. Pages 251-261 in DeBano, L.H., P.H. Folliott, A. Ortega-Rubio, G.J. Gottfried, R.H. Hamre, and C.B. Edminster, eds. Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago: the sky islands of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Fort Collins, CO.

Schofield, C.L., D. Josephson, C. Keleher, and S.P. Gloss. 1993. Thermal stratification of dilute lakes-evaluation of regulatory processes and biolgical effects before and after base addition: effects on brook trout habitat and growth. USFWS Biological Report. 1993(9).

Starnes, W.C., J. Odenkirk, and M.J. Ashton. 2011. Update and analysis of fish occurrences in the lower Potomac River drainage in the vicinity of Plummers Island, Maryland—Contribution XXXI to the natural history of Plummers Island, Maryland. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(4):280-309.

State of Oregon. 2000. Warm Water Game Fish Records. 7 pp.

Stauffer, J.R., Jr., J.M. Boltz, and L.R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Swift, C.C., T.R. Haglund, M. Ruiz, and R.N. Fisher. 1993. The status and distribution of the freshwater fishes of southern California. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 92(3):101-167.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2001. Fish Records: Water Body - All Tackle. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. April 24, 2001

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Tyus, H.M., B.D. Burdick, R.A. Valdez, C.M. Haynes, T.A. Lytle, and C.R. Berry. 1982. The fishes of the upper Colorado River basin: distribution, abundance, and status. Pages 12-70 in Miller, W.H., H.M. Tyus, and C.A. Carlson, eds. Fishes of the upper Colorado River system: present and future. Western Division, American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, MD.

Underhill, J.C. 1986. The fish fauna of the Laurentian Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence lowlands, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Pages 105-136 in Hocutt, C.H., and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons. New York, NY.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1995. Greenback cutthroat trout recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colorado.

Other Resources:
Distribution in Illinois - Illinois Natural History Survey

Global Invasive Species Database Factsheet

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 6/6/2019

Peer Review Date: 9/30/2015

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill, 1814): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=939, Revision Date: 6/6/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/30/2015, Access Date: 4/13/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/13/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.