Trout is a freshwater fish, found commonly in freshwater lakes and rivers. Some kinds of trout like the coastal rainbow trout called steelhead are known to spend some time at sea. Despite that, they still spawn in freshwater. Trout is an oily fish. The tastiest and most common species of trout you will find in the market are brown trout, rainbow trout, sea trout, and brook trout.
- Some non-salmonid fishes also get to be called trout, like the spotted seatrout, also known as speckled trout (Cynoscion nebulosus).
- Trout is an important food source not just for humans but for other animals as well, like bears and eagles.
- If you notice how trouts have different colorations and patterns, it is because these are affected by their environment. So a trout living in a Texas river may look different from a trout found in a Texas lake.
- A study published by the Journal of Experimental Biology pointed out that trout can get addicted to methamphetamine found in rivers and waterways where trout live.
- A 2013 Science Daily news article talked about the extraordinary tolerance of trout to survive heavily polluted water (River Hayle in Cornwall) with high metal concentrations. Other fishes will not be able to survive this condition.
Trout Buying Guide
You can buy trout in the fish and seafood section of the market. It is always best to buy fresh trout in the market. When you do, use these tips to check for freshness. It is good that you can actually touch the fish sold in the market because this will help you in your freshness test. Gently press the trout and if it remains indented, or if you detect slime on the skin, this trout is no longer fresh. The smell of trout is another indicator. If it has a stinky, fishy smell, or if it smells like ammonia, this trout may no longer be fresh. If the eyes of the fish are sunken or cloudy, or if it appears indented, it is highly likely that it is no longer fresh.
You can also find frozen trout fillets in the frozen section of the supermarket or grocery. If you are buying frozen trout fillets, check the packaging for ice crystals. If you can see ice crystals, this means it has been thawed and refrozen. Avoid buying frozen trout fillet in this condition because it is not good for the quality of the trout fillet if it has been thawed and refrozen.
Your last option is to order online for same-day or next-day delivery. You can also choose a date when you want your trout delivered.
If you don’t want to buy trout, you can head out and fish for trout. You can catch trout by river fishing or ice fishing.
There are risks with either buying farmed trout from the market or fishing for wild trout. Farmed trout may contain antibiotics and malachite green. Wild trout may contain mercury or other toxins.
Trout Production & Farming in Texas
To ensure that there is trout in Texas waters, hatcheries in Texas grow trout and when they are old enough, they are transferred to Texas waterways. According to a news report, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will stock different freshwater locations in Texas like Millers Pond, Southside Lions Park lake, and Guadalupe River with 322,568 rainbow trout from November 30, 2021, up to March 2022.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, rainbow trout find it hard to reproduce or survive for too long in Texas because of high temperature, although noting that some trout somehow survive in areas like Canyon Reservoir and McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains. Because of their inability to reproduce here, community fishing lakes in Texas have an annual stocking of rainbow trout, usually during the winter season.
Texas Parks and Wildlife has released the state’s trout stocking schedule for 2021-2022.
There are trout farming businesses in Texas conducting commercial production of trout, like
Overton Fisheries in Buffalo, Texas, produces winter rainbow trout in two sizes – forage fingerlings (to feed largemouth bass) and catchable adults (for angling).
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals
Warnings were sent out to the public in the past after trout were found out to be contaminated with chemicals and toxins.
- Antibiotics – Farmed fishes like trout are given antibiotics to fight diseases. Farmed rainbow trout may contain antibiotics. This was revealed in a study of rainbow trouts in Iranian markets published in the International Journal of Food Properties in 2017.
- Malachite green – It is possible trout is contaminated with residue of dye called malachite green. Although this is banned in the US and Europe, many fish farmers still use malachite green for antimicrobial purposes like killing parasites that target freshwater fishes in aquaculture. This is toxic; when ingested repeatedly over time, malachite green causes carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, chromosomal fractures, teratogenicity, and respiratory toxicity in fishes and mammals. This was revealed in a study of rainbow trouts in Iranian markets published in the International Journal of Food Properties in 2017.
- Dechlorane 602 – According to Scientific American, Dechlorane 602 is found in lake trout in the Great Lakes. Dechlorane 602 is a chlorinated polycyclic compound used as a flame retardant compound and as an insecticide.
- PFOS – On April 2021, a Wisconsin State Journal news warned the public about trout caught in Silver Creek in Monroe County, a 10.4-mile class 1 trout stream, which has elevated levels of hazardous perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) which is used in fabrics, leather, carpets, and paper products and is linked to cancer, liver disease, and reproductive problems, and could potentially interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines.
- Methamphetamine – Newsweek reported that trout are contaminated in rivers with trace levels of methamphetamine.
- In 2020, Missoula Current reported that rainbow trout caught in the Clark Fork River below the Smurfit Stone mill site because of toxins found in contaminated trout caught here.
- A 2014 news talked about how trout caught in lakes and streams around Rocky Mountain National Park contain high mercury levels.
Trouts are found all over North America, northern Asia, and Europe. Brown trout from England and rainbow trout from California were introduced in Australia (where it affected the population of the native climbing galaxias) and New Zealand in the 19th century. Today, the government oversees the annual release of trout from private hatcheries, after trout became a popular game fish here.
Of the six biggest different species of trout (brook trout, cutthroat trout, butt trout, golden trout, rainbow trout, and lake trout) caught and recorded by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), three were caught in Canada and the other three caught in the US.
Trout found in the Himalayan Region of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and in Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan closely resemble the seema trout.
European countries are responsible for the global export of trout. Number one on the list is Norway. Other major trout exporting countries in Europe include the UK, Armenia, Spain, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, Greece, and Germany.
Trout fillet is sold in the frozen section of the supermarket or grocery. The packaging is a vacuum-sealed plastic pack. Packaging for fillet trout should contain important consumer information like the name of the manufacturer, expiration date, nutritional information, ingredients, etc. Packaging should be free from damage that could affect the quality of the trout fillet.
Trout is a bony fish with tasty meat, so be careful when eating it especially if it is your first time and if you are feeding it to children. Eating trout can help lower the risk of getting cancer. It also helps lower the risks of cardiovascular disease and arthritis. But if you have a fish allergy, do not eat trout. According to the USDA, eating 8 oz of trout in a week is enough for optimum nutrition. The recommendation of the American Heart Association is two servings of trout every week.
Without any seasoning, trout is a gluten-free food.
Store uncooked trout in the freezer. Wash the trout clean and make sure to remove all the organs, leaving only the meat. Pat it dry with a paper towel and put it inside a zip lock bag, freezer bag, or freezer-safe food container. You can keep trout in the freezer for 3 months. You can also put it in the refrigerator but it will only keep for 2 to 4 days. Store it there for longer than that and it will start to go bad because the temperature is not cold enough to keep the fish in good quality.
Enjoy trout in different ways: smoked trout, poached trout, roasted trout, or pan-fried trout. Or you can make trout pate. You can make baked tacos or use shredded trout meat as a taco filling. Trout is great with potatoes, almonds, parsley, horseradish, dill, orange, olives, capers, cornichons, cherry tomatoes, even with bacon. Trout is great with greens like lettuce, escarole, spinach, and watercress, dairies like butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or creme fraiche, bread and pita crisps, or with cooked rice or rice pilaf. Cook it using seasonings such as cayenne powder, ginger, soy, and garlic.
Including trout in your diet is beneficial because this fish contains protein, Omega-3, potassium, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, iron, calcium, folate, cobalamin, magnesium, and selenium.