Trout have no spines on the fins, and all of them have a small adipose (fatty) fin along the back, near the tail. There are many species, and even more populations that are isolated from each other and morphologically different. However, many of these distinct appearing populations show no significant genetic differences, and therefore what appear to be a large number of species are considered a much smaller number of distinct species by most ichthyologists.













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The trout found in the western United States are a good example of this. The brook trout, the aurora trout and the (extinct) silver trout all have physical characteristics and colorations that distinguish them. Genetic analysis shows however that they are one species, Salvelinus fontinalis.
Other fish that are part of this group include the rainbow, lake, bull, and brown trouts. Lake trout are actually a member of the char family "Salvelinus namaycush" It inhabits many of the larger lakes in North America and lives much longer than Rainbow trout which has a maximum life span of 7 years. Lake trout can live many decades and can grow to more than 60 pounds.

Images 1 Through 13 Are From The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Images 14 Throught 16 Are From The U.S.D.A.


















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