Hi friends – Cornelius here!
This past weekend was the start of trout season for Delaware County, and my friends here in the park hosted a nice Opening Day breakfast for our stream fishing members. I figured this would be a good opportunity to talk about my trout friends that live in the stream.
There are 14 species of trout found around the world, and you can spot three of them here in the park! While all three have different color patterns, they have similar long body shapes with forked tails and gently rounded dorsal and caudal fins on their backs.
Rainbow trout are the most common in the park and are native to the cold clear tributaries that drain into the Pacific Ocean. They are a favorite of fishermen, so my coworkers stock them each spring and fall. They are distinguished by their dark spots on a blue-green background and the pinkish stripe running along their sides.
Brown trout are another fisherman favorite. They are native to Europe, where they can be found in a variety of waterbodies. This species tolerates warmer waters than rainbow trout, so they are good to have around for summer fishing. Their sides are brown to olive colored, and have brown, black, red, and orange spots.
The brook trout is the third species of trout in the park. This is the trout native to southeastern Pennsylvania and one that our fishermen are always excited to see! They are overall brownish in color, with a dark marbled pattern over their back and sides, reddish streak on their sides, and a clean white belly.
Like other trout, these guys prefer cold water and can be found in a variety of waterways. However, they are picky about current- the water can’t be too fast or too slow. Besides being the expected trout species, brook trout are important water quality indicators. They can only live in the cleanest water!
All trout are fierce hunters that eat a variety of insects and other organisms. Here in the park, our trout enjoy a diet of mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, craneflies, and other insects, which they eat as both aquatic larvae and as adults flying near the water. They also enjoy worms, mollusks, smaller fish, and even beetles and ants when they are in reach.
Interested in being a trout fisherman? Our fly fishing club still has spaces available – find out more information on our Stream Fishing page.
I’ll be back with another blog soon – in the meantime, come visit the Park, and stop in and say “hi” to me in the Visitor Center!