A small member of a large family of fish, the brook trout can be found under such names as brookie, salter, squaretail, and golden speckled or native trout. A member of the salmon family, the brook trout averages only 8 ounces and 8 to 10 inches in length but has been known to grow to 14 ½ pounds and 31 inches. It can be found in cold streams and ponds throughout eastern United States. They are greenish to brown in color with a specked sides and reddish fins and belly. It is the state fish of Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia They have a firm flaky meat with a very mild flavor and a moderate fat content and remains moist after cooking. The best way to cook it is to bake, sauté, broil, steam, pan fry or poach.
Being the largest member of the trout family, the lake trout averages 4 to 5 pounds but can grow up to 100 pounds and 5 feet in length. It lives in deep, cold water lakes from Alaska to the Canadian Border States, including the great lakes.
The lake trout is closely associated with the brown trout, the grayling and the artic char, and can be found under names such as namaycush, togue, longe, fork tail and mackinaw. The siscowet is a lake trout that usually inhabits deeper water of the great lakes and is usually smoked because of its very high fat content. They have a gray body that is peppered with pale spots which are oftened tinted pink. Its meat is flaky and rich in flavor and its fat content varies with the size of the fish. The larger the fish the higher the fat content will be.
The rainbow is the most abundant member of the freshwater trout family. They live in cool clear waters throughout the western United States. It is native only to states west of the Rocky Mountains and is very important for both sport and commercial fishing. Commercially it is generally a farmed raised fish. It is a close relative of the other small trout such as the dolly varden and the cutthroat and is actually a member of the salmon family. They can be found under such names as bow, coaster, red sides, summer salmon and salmon trout.
It is a torpedo shaped fish that that has a blueish-green or yellow-green color with distinguishing broad horizontal reddish band. The rainbow averages only 8 ounces but can grow to 37 pounds and 40 inches in length. They occasionally leave its freshwater habitat and lives in the ocean. There it takes on a grayish color and salmon colored meat. After two to three years the rainbow returns to freshwater to spawn. When it returns to freshwater it is known as steelhead or salmon trout because of its color change. The steelhead and the rainbow trout are the same species.
The meat of the rainbow trout will have more flavor the larger it gets. The steelhead, one that has lived in the ocean, will have more flavor than the rainbow. The rainbow has a firm flaky flesh that is very mild in flavor and has a moderate fat content. The best way to cook is to oven fry, bake, broil, panfry or steam.
Oven fry, Bake, Broil, Poach, Panfry or steam
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