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Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax (SWCSMH) Acknowledgements
April 12, 2012The Province of Nova Scotia declares the Brook Trout as the Provincial Fish: Bill No. 70 (November 23, 2006) .... with salutations to the Legislature of the Province of Nova Scotia and the MLA for Preston, Keith Colwell, a former Minister of Fisheries. Read also the email acknowledgement that he sent us.
For an extensive treatise on trout, the best reference is:
Stolz, J., and Schnell, J. 1991. (Editors) Trout. The Wildlife Series. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA. 370 pp. ISBN 0-8117-1652-X.
They grow and survive best in temperatures between 13° and 18°C (55° and 65°F). Brook trout, which like other char and trout are a coldwater species, can survive a wide range of temperatures, from near 0°C (32°F) to around 22°C (72°F). However, they have been known to tolerate temperatures above 25.6°C (78°F) for up to a few hours.
Brook trout tolerate acidic conditions particularly well, compared with other species. They have been known to survive at pH 3.5, though only in unusual circumstances. Realistically, the lower limits are around pH 4.8. The presence of aluminum ions or other heavy metals may raise the lowest pH level at which brook trout can survive. Where pH levels are low, brook trout may be the only game fish that can survive. But even this species has suffered because of acid rain, particularly in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
High alkalinity is not a critical factor under natural conditions, and survival has been recorded at pH levels of 9.8!
In fact, when water temperatures are high, brook trout are more likely to concentrate where a spring seeps, in cold water that may be only a foot deep, than to venture into deeper water of favorable temperature. Such behaviors contrast with those of most other chars, particularly lake trout (Flick, W.A., in Stolz and Schnell, 1991, Editors).
Studies have shown that maximum growth and standing crops of brook trout occur in shallow ponds and lakes that contain no competing species. In contrast to the stream habitat, the trout do not have feeding stations. Cover in lake habitats is of minor importance!
In streams, they prefer areas where the substrate consists of gravel and cobble with diameters of between 2 and 25 cm (0.8 to 10 in.). Stream fish have small home territories, or stations, and may remain by a given rock or log throughout the season, provided it is close to cover. Trout establish hierarchies and exhibit agonistic behavior at feeding stations, but they often will share escape cover.
As stream temperature drops in the fall and winter to the low 40sF, brook trout feed less and move closer to cover.
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