Brook trout are not actually a trout at all but are part of the salmon family known as char. Brook trout can be found in a diverse range of habitat ranging from a trickle of a brook to the largest open lakes. They are a fish that is well adapted to surviving in many conditions but they do have their vulnerabilities and often fall prey to larger game fish as well as perch bass and other fish.
So how big can a brook trout actually get? Well they do not grow as large as most of their cousins like Dolly Varden or Salmon. In the trout family lake trout and brown trout can get well above 20 pounds in large lakes.
In the United States the brook trout is the official state fish in eight states. They can be found in the streams of many more states as well from Maine to Iowa. The species has actually been introduced by man as far west as California where it has been reported to flourish quite well. Experts say they have documented brookies in California that are up to fifteen years old, about twice the average for a brook trout.
For most of the United States brook trout do not get very large compared to other species of game fish. In Maine for example (which is well known for being one of the last safe havens for natural brook trout in the US) the record was about 7 pounds for many years until 2010 when a 9 pound brookie was landed. In comparison the record for salmon is about 28 pounds and the record for lake trout is about 31 pounds.
World Record Brook Trout
The world record for brook trout was caught in 1915 in Ontario Canada and was 31 inches long. By the time it was weighed it had been decomposed and only weighed in at 14.5 pounds. To this day no other brook trout has officially broken the record. A few years back a fish was caught that measured 29 inches in length and 21 inches in girth. Most likely this fish weighed well over 14 pounds but was never weighed and was released alive so the record cannot be considered officially broken.
Labrador Brook Trout
Labrador Canada is probably the last place on earth where you can catch 3- 7 pound brook trout regularly. Although the 16 inch 1-2 pound fish are abundant and very fun to catch, the next world record brook trout is most likely sitting in Labrador water waiting for you to come and get him.