Salmon and Brown Trout: Know the Difference!

The more obvious differences between adult salmon and brown trout may be found in the head and tail areas, as shown below. Knowing them may help the angler release a fish more quickly. (Media: click to download a high-resolution version of this image, 1.2 MB)

Location tip: Fish and Game does not stock brown trout in any of New Hampshire’s large lakes, with the exception of Lake Francis in Pittsburg. The Inland Fisheries Division has attempted to separate these species due to their similar external features.

Ice anglers should be aware that it is illegal to take landlocked salmon through the ice. Fish and Game strongly suggests that if anglers do catch a salmon while ice fishing, the line should be cut as close to the mouth as possible and the fish should be released without taking it out of the water. Landlocked salmon may only be taken during the open water season, April 1 - September 30.

When in doubt about identifying adult salmon and brown trout, play it safe and release the fish unharmed!

salmon & brown trout ID


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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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Concord, NH 03301

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