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Trout and Trout Farming

from around the UK

Trout is a member of the Salmon (Salmonidae) family of freshwater fish, which also includes salmon, char and grayling. Salmonids are the only freshwater fish to have an adipose fin, a small extra fin between the dorsal and tail-fins.

Trout that live in different environments can have dramatically different colourations and patterns. Mostly, these colours and patterns form as camouflage, based on the surroundings, and will change as the fish moves to different habitats.

There are a wide variety of trout species living in the UK, each with their own distinctive look, diet and
characteristics. Here is a guide to some of the most common types of trout found in the UK.

Rainbow Trout

(Onchorynchus mykiss)

Rainbow Trout can be distinguished by the broad purple or violet band along its flanks and the black spots on the tail fin.

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Brown Trout

(Salmo trutta)

Most commonly Brown Trout are brownish with many black and rusty red spots on its upper sides and its adipose fin is edged with orange.

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Golden Trout

(Oncorhynchis mykiss aguabonita)

Golden Trout are a distinctive sandy gold colouring meaning it is particularly conspicuous to predators like herons.

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Rainbow Trout

(Onchorynchus mykiss)

The rainbow trout is now known as Onchorynchus Mykiss but was known, until recently, as Salmo Gairdneri. Although native to lakes and streams of North-West America, Rainbow Trout has been introduced to regions throughout the world including Australasia, South America and South Africa. It is now the main breed of trout to be farmed commercially.

Rainbow trout can be distinguished by the broad purple or violet band along its flanks and the black spots on the tail fin. There is a migratory breed of Rainbow Trout known as the Steelhead. Steelheads are anadromous fish which means they only visit freshwater from the sea to spawn.

Rainbow trout are also highly prized as game fish because they fight hard, leaping high out of the water.

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Brown Trout

(Salmo trutta)

Also known as the River or Lake Trout, the Brown Trout is indigenous to many European countries including Britain. The species displays a widely varied appearance with colouring and shape depending on where it is found. Most commonly adult fish are brownish with numerous black and rusty red spots on its upper sides and its adipose fin is edged with orange.

The freshwater Brown Trout is found in a variety of habitats from small brooks to large rivers and lakes. A saltwater variety found typically in coastal waters of northern Europe is known as the sea trout. Brown trout in small rivers grow to about 30 cm long while the sea trout has been known to reach 1.4m.

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Golden Trout

(Oncorhynchis mykiss aguabonita)

Originating in the high altitudes of the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States the Golden Trout has been called the “fish from heaven” by the Americans.

The distinctive sandy gold colouring of the fish means it is particularly conspicuous to predators like herons and farming conditions are carefully designed to offer maximum protection.

Only two producers in the UK currently farm this unusual variety of trout for consumption.

Trout Farming in the UK

Trout farming was introduced to the UK in the 1950s by a DanIsh entrepreneur. Since that time the industry has grown to its current size of almost 290 trout farms.

Trout is farmed widely in the UK, but particularly in central and southern Scotland, south England and North Yorkshire.

A trout farm can be farmed in a number of ways such as on rivers or by cage farming in deep freshwater lakes.

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The Health Benefits of Eating Trout

Our Registered Nutritionist, Dr Lucy Williamson explains "Trout is a fabulous source of many nutrients pivotal to our long-term health yet low in our UK diet. British Trout is particularly low in saturated fat (less than half that of salmon) and provides a rich source of the Omega 3 oils DHA and EPA, known to promote healthy ageing by reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Trout is also a good source of Iodine and Selenium and one of the best foods for supplementing our Vitamin D levels. Trout is also a great source of high-quality protein, antioxidants, Vitamin A and B12."

Trout is also quick and easy to cook, as well as being very versatile.

Trout is available all year round from supermarkets, individual shops, fishmongers or direct from fish-farm shops. It can be purchased fresh or frozen, as fillets, steaks or whole fish and also comes in hot and cold smoked varieties.

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