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Brown trout illustration

Brown Trout

North Dakota Game Species

Trout Family: In North Dakota, members of the trout family are all introduced. Trout are beautiful fish, sporty to catch and fine eating. North Dakota habitat does not provide the conditions for trout to spawn and reproduce successfully. They must be grown in a hatchery and stocked into area lakes.

Brown Trout Identification

  • 9-12 rays in the anal fin
  • Spots that are much larger and more colorful than those of the rainbow, may be black, brown, orange or red and surrounded with a light halo
  • On large browns, the spots may be irregular shaped or even X-shaped
  • Usually does not have spots on its tail


The brown trout is native to Europe and can tolerate slightly warmer water conditions than the rainbow.

It is found in the Missouri River System and a few lakes where it is regularly stocked.