Trout in the tropics

Trout love cold water. They are native to temperate to subarctic regions located within North America and Eurasia, but thanks to introductions, trout can now be found far out of their natural range. This includes at least four tropical countries.

I want to preface this by saying, while trout are found in these countries, it still does not mean they are living in tropical weather and warm rivers, but they have been established in micro-climates, usually at high elevations within these countries. There the streams run cooler, making them suitable for trout.

The most interesting example of trout living in the tropics is from Keny. There both rainbow and brown trout can be found living on the slopes of Mount Victoria. These are also the trout which live nearest the equator, due to the lack of defined seasons, The trout do not know when to spawn and they have been known to spawn multiple times in one calendar year. It also means both browns and rainbow can spawn at the same time.

Leaving Africa and heading to Asia we find two more tropical countries with populations of trout. The first is India, a large country that is stretched across several climate zones, the trout, not surprisingly leave in the north of the country within the Himalaya Mountain range. I really do not have much to add, but there is apparently still some sport fishing done for them, but If I were to make the effort to visit India, I probably will much rather target the Golden Mahseer instead.

Further east we come upon the island of Taiwan, which sits right on the edge of the tropical zone, this mountainous country has a remnant population of landlocked cherry trout isolated to a few watersheds. These trout are heavily protected, and all fishing for them is banned. These are the only trout which naturally occur within a country so close to the equator. Apparently, their ancestors migrated there during the last ice age.

Finally, we will jump across to South America, where trout have been introduced to some rivers in the south of Brazil. I do not know much about these fish, but apparently, they live in fast flowing streams in a high rainfall area.

I will wrap up this article with a few more examples of trout living in the tropics, or hot arid countries. First, is the population of wild rainbow trout that lives in Hawaii, this means a tropical beach vacation and trout fishing can happen on the same trip. Now, before packing that three weight, I feel the need to let you know that the streams the trout inhabit are rather difficult to access and require more than a bit of expertise to reach.

Next back to Africa, when you think of the climate of Morrocco, what do you think of? Hot and arid like the rest of North Africa. Well, you are not wrong, but high in the Atlas Mountains, no fewer than three populations of wild trout cling on. These trout, native brown have likely been there since the last Glaciation period. One population even lives in a watershed that drains into the Sahara Desert.

Staying with hot countries, that are not quite tropical brings us to Pakistan, much like India there are brown trout in the northern mountains, which I believe are called the Hindu Kush, most of these trout were introduced by the British and their use to be quite a lively sport fishery for them. There is a very small chance native trout also inhabit the Hindu Kush Mountain ranges, but most experts agree that the southeastern extent of the brown trout natural range is likely somewhere in northern Afghanistan.

So, this rounds up my quick article on trout that live in the tropics and other hot countries. For a bit more information, check out my article on unlikely countries where trout can be caught.

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