[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
AS to its figure resembles the salmon; it has a short roundish head, and a blunt snout. Trouts breed and live constantly in small rivers, whose transparent stream frets along upon the clean pebbles and beds of sand which cover the bottom of the water; they feed on river flies and other water insects, and are so desperately fond of them, and so blindly voracious, that anglers often deceive them with artificial flies, made up of feathers, wool and other materials, and which resemble very closely the natural ones. In Laugh-Neagh, in Ireland, trouts have been caught weighing thirty pounds; and we are told that in the lake of Geneva, and in the northern lakes of England, they are found of a still larger size. It holds the first place among the river fish, and its flesh is very delicious, but of hard digestion when old or kept too long. They spawn in the month of December, and deposit their eggs in the gravel at the bottom of rivers, dykes, and ponds. To the contrary of many other fish, the Trouts are least esteemed when nearest spawning. They are properly in season in the months of July and August, being then fat and well-tasted. It is said that the Romans knew not this fish, and that there is no Latin word to express it; but this is improbable as this fish is found in Italian rivers as well as any others, and as the word Trocta or Trutta has been used by several authors.