The Eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is also known as the “brookie” and “speckled trout,” and of all the places I would like to see them, plunged in ice at Whole Foods is not one of them. As I took this photo I wished I had a magic wand so I could send them back to their native waters and watch them swim away, sparkling in the sun, though I'm sure these were farm raised.
I first learned about trout by reading Trout Reflections: A Natural History of the Trout and Its World by David M. Carroll, a friend, author, artist and naturalist. David has dedicated his life to studying turtles and in 2006 he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Wild trout are in trouble and the following excerpt, from a December 2005 report titled Conserving the Eastern Brook Trout: An Overview of Status, Threats, and Trends by the Conservation Strategy Work Group, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, explains why: "The brook trout is a recreationally and culturally important species, regional icon, and indicator of high water quality. Biologists have long known that brook trout populations are declining across their historic eastern range from Maine to Georgia. Wild brook trout populations in the eastern United States declined substantially during the past century and continue to face threats. Impacts from agriculture, grazing, loss of riparian forests, urbanization, and competition with invasive species, global climate change, acid precipitation, and other anthropogenic alterations to the landscape are decreasing the presence and robustness of brook trout populations across their historic range."