Unknown to most people, trout is an umbrella term for a variety of fish belonging to 3 genera: Salmo, Salvelinus, and Oncorhynchus. There are over ten species of trout, each known for a specific role in the animal kingdom.
Most trout species spend their lifetime in the clear and fresh waters of lakes and rivers where the water is between 10-16 degrees Celsius. However, there are some species such as Steelhead that have been caught both at sea and in freshwater.
Trout are usually caught for both food and sports, as they are some of the largest freshwater fish in the world.
What Trout to Eat
The choice of what type of trout is suitable for a meal depends on many things that influence taste and the ease with which the fish will be caught. The environment plays a major role in the taste of the fish and thus should be one of the key considerations when looking for a certain type of fish.
Choosing the right trout to eat can make the difference between a muddy tasting meal and a flavorsome one. Generally, fish that are caught in lakes are better tasting than those caught in rivers. This is because rivers move more rapidly than lakes and thus the fish hardly ever get enough food because it’s always moving away.
Fish in lakes have a wider variety of things to choose from compared to fish in rivers that have to eat whatever is available. This usually drives them to eat things that affect taste negatively.
Here are a few types of trout that are undoubtedly tasty:
1. Brown Trout
Brown trout is a European species of trout that is found almost all over the world. Initially, it was limited to the areas of Norway and White Sea tributaries in Russia and Iceland. However, the fish has since been introduced to other areas such as South America, Asia, Australia, and East Africa, where it has since been able to thrive and survive.
Brown trout is a medium to large-sized fish with a length of over 100cm. With a lifespan of about 19 years, the brown trout usually lays about 2000 eggs per year in lake water, making the fish available in freshwaters most of the time.
While in river water, brown trout often feeds on other fish, mice, frogs, birds, and insects on the water surface. Their life in freshwater and their diet consisting mainly of other water animals makes them highly sought after as food.
2. Rainbow Trout
As the name suggests, rainbow trout is a beautiful fish found in freshwater and is known for the colors that shine off their skin when light hits the clear water. It is one of the most sought after trout species, especially in-game finishing.
Here is a video that’ll help you prepare and cook a rainbow trout:
They predominantly reside in fresh streams and lakes throughout their life cycle. They are also found in freshwater hatcheries where they are reared then moved to water bodies for food and sport, and thus, they are found in all continents except Antarctica.
These fish usually spawn in freshwater where temperatures average about 6 degrees Celsius during late spring or very early summer. The eggs are usually laid in gravel, and the fish then grow in moderately deep waters where there is sufficient vegetation.
Rainbow trout have a wide variety of things they consider food, and they usually devour anything they find. They typically feed on adult forms of insects such as grasshoppers, ants, and beetles. Their great taste and high nutritious content come from the fish they feed on.
Rainbow trout feed on smaller fish like crab and prawns and occasionally large shrimp. They have also been seen to feed on dead carcasses of other fish and planktons. Rainbow trout has the highest nutritional content and is an excellent alternative to salmon whose numbers are rapidly declining as a result of overfishing.
3. Apache Trout
Apache trout are known for being one of the only two species of trout that are Arizona state natives. It is usually found in crystal clear waters close to the White Mountains, where the water temperature is between 9-15 degrees Celsius. However, the Apache trout have also been recently introduced to the Pinaleno Mountains and Grand canyon.
This species of trout is predominantly in freshwater and usually feeds on aquatic insects and smaller lake fish and zooplankton. The freshwater is the main reason for their sweet taste.
4. Sea Trout
Sea trout is one of the trout species that spends part of its life cycle in the sea and thus can be found in the sea and freshwater. Sea trout are usually about 55cm, in length, but some have been reported to grow to even 120cm. The sea trout closely resembles salmon in both its feeding habits and lifestyle.
During its life, the fish usually migrate from the sea to river beds to lay its eggs, especially in troughs. The eggs hatch and the fish remain in the fresh river water for about 3 to 5 years after which they make their way into the sea.
Sea trout mainly feed on other fish like crabs, prawns, and shrimp, thus making them a suitable and tasty meal choice. Most of their life is spent at sea, and while some mature fish may return to the river, their taste is mainly influenced by the seawater, and their preference for other fish.Sea trout also has easily shed scales which make preparation hustle free.
5. Brook Trout
The brook trout is a native to numerous states in the US, especially those of Eastern North America. It was recently introduced through transplantation to areas in South America, Argentina, and New Zealand. The fish has since been able to establish numerous self-sustaining populations in non-native waters all over the world.
The brook trout is mainly found in small lakes, clear streams, and ponds. They are the purest trout species in that their tissues contain almost no trace of environmental contaminants. This is because they are only found in pure water and are sensitive to low water oxygen content, water pollution, and pH changes, especially as a result of acidic rain.
If they can, they usually migrate immediately, and the water becomes contaminated. Their high environmental selectivity makes them very hard to find, as most water bodies are contaminated in some way. This makes them a very pricey delicacy, but they make up for it in their amazing taste.
Trout are an important source of food for both human beings and even more so, aquatic and land wildlife. Their fillets and guts are made up of 30% oil, thus making them be classified as oily fish. Therefore they are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids compared to other fish species that only have it in minimum concentrations. Trout is also rich in vitamins A and D, which go a long way in treating cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
It has been proven that consuming about 400g of trout per week reduces the chances of death as a result of myocardial infarction by close to 25%. The combination of nutrients found in trout also helps to reduce inflammation of the joint, which leads to arthritis. Trout eating at least once a week has also been shown to reduce the incidence of dementia over a period of 6 years.
Trout have also been found to contain the lowest amount of environmental toxins compared to other fish species. Even when placed in an environment containing mild contaminants, trout can get rid of toxins while other fish retain the toxic substances in their tissues.
The serving size of trout is usually about 80g grams and has the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 140 kcal
- Proteins: 20g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Others: Cobalamin, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and Iron
Besides being of high nutritional value, trout is also tasty. It is one of the boniest fish, but when well prepared, it makes for a very sumptuous meal. Taste, however, depends on the fish’s feeding habits.
Trout species that feed on other fish such as crustaceans are said to be tastier than those that feed on insects. The bigger trout fish are the ones that usually feed on other fish, and thus they must be much more delicious than the smaller species. However, the small trout fish is also delicious in their own right.
Brook trout have a highly diverse diet ranging from insects such as stoneflies and mayflies to water crustaceans and frogs. Occasionally it also feeds on zooplankton and small mammals.
The trout fish is an amazing and beautiful animal. The whole process of encountering one from the fishing to plating it is worth it as it’s one of the best tasting delicacies in the world. The trout fish comes in every shape and color, but the taste is highly dependent on the environment and diet of the fish.
Freshwater trout are highly sought after, but the ones that mainly reside in the sea are good as well. All in all, the fish, as mentioned above, are the best tasting and are of high nutritional value compared to the rest. Trout can be incorporated into almost any diet, whether one is trying to lose weight, gain weight or maintain a lean body.