The Stream Doctor

February 7th, 2005

Email YOUR Questions directly to the Stream Doctor. This is your opportunity to get an experts professional opinion on anything stream related.

Q. How long do brown trout live?

A. Browns usually live to be five or six years old under natural conditions - if not caught first! However, ages of eight or nine years are not uncommon. Lake dwellers tend to live longer than stream fish. The common method of aging trout by counting growth rings of their scales has come under some criticism, especially for slow-growing trout in small streams. One male brown trout in a Pennsylvania stream was observed over a five-year period. Examination of its scales revealed an age of 3 years, but a study of its otoliths (small bones of the inner ear which reveal growth lines) showed it to be at least 9 years old.

If you have a question, please feel free to contact me.
~ C. E. (Bert) Cushing, aka Streamdoctor
105 W. Cherokee Dr.
Estes Park, CO 80517
Phone: 970-577-1584

The 'Stream Doctor' is a retired professional stream ecologist and author, now living in the West and spending way too much time fly-fishing. You are invited to submit questions relating to anything stream related directly to him for use in this Q & A Feature at

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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