Every good angler knows that Trout has a certain pattern of staying active under specific water temperature conditions. It is a topic that baffles many so you will always find discussion forums filled with questions like what water temp are Trout most active?
Naturally, everyone will give answers according to their experiences and we understand how varying explanations can be baffling. Therefore, we have this article ready to educate on the Trout water temperature that gets them active. We will further educate you on the use of a stream thermometer to better your chances of discovering Trout activity. So, let’s dive in!
Water Temp and Trout Behavior
Let’s discuss Trout behavior in a little detail and we categorized it by seasons so you can understand better.
We will start by telling you that Trout love winters and they are very active at this time. Seasoned anglers know well that shifts in water temps will either increase or eliminate their chances of finding some Trout activity. In winters, when the water is rather cold (not exactly glacial), it can be the temperature Trout prefer for their movement. So, we can generally establish that 11C- 18C water temperature is the preferable water temp range for Trout.
It is safe to say Trout will react actively to water temperatures leaning in this range. This implies that Trout activity will be high. Therefore, if the water temperature surges from 1C-6C, it will have an encouraging effect on getting Trout more active. Furthermore, a shift from 22C-17C can also render a positive effect on Trout activity.
Now summer is a different story for Trout activity. As Trout love the lower temperature, it renders their movement even more specific in warmer climate. Therefore, when it is very early in the morning or a good temperature drop happens when the sun goes down, that is when Trout gets active.
When the water temp warms up in the afternoon and goes to 20C and above, Trout will get lethargic and have no interest in any activity. As the sun keeps blazing, they will lazier. Their water temperature has to be 11C-17C in summers to have them moving about happily.
Why Lower Temp for More Activity?
If you are wondering why lower water temperature is so favorable in making Trout move around then you are not alone, and we have the answers. This is because the low water temp boosts the fish’s metabolism! Yep, that simple!
As you can imagine, when the metabolism improves then this will make Trout more active and have them moving around energetically in search of food. Temperature changes in water leaning towards higher numbers can shock Trout. This can have them laying low and not have the energy to feed. Let’s summarize it, Trout can easily adapt to a temperature drop of 7C from 11C however, Trout needs time for adjustment and they become energized translating into more activity. But there is another thing.
When the water temperature rises, less oxygen dissolves in the water, and with it dropping, there is more dissolved oxygen making Trout more active.
Ideal Water Temps for Different Trout Species
As we discuss what makes Trout move about and when gets them lazy, let’s take things further and help you understand the different temperatures for different Trout species. Although the general temperature works for all Trout, there are minute differences in their preferred temperature.
So, if you want to get specific about types then we got you covered. Remember, you can find Trout from any water temps down to 0 degrees Celsius, but the issue remains with the upper threshold. This is where they get sluggish.
Below are some ideal water temperatures for a few Trout species
- The best movement temperatures for Brook Trout range from 6C-17C for they require more oxygen than some Trout types. The temperature, which stresses Brook Trout, begins at 18C.
- Cutthroat’s preferred activity water temperatures lie between 4C-15C. However, when the temperature crosses 15C, Cutthroats can get sluggish and move less.
- Browns and Rainbow Trout water temperature is 6C-19C for they are rather hardy members of the fish family. If the temperature crosses 21C, both varieties begin stressing.
If you want to know Trout activity better than a stream thermometer can be a great tool. Anglers bring it along in their fishing expeditions to gauge Trout activity. Although it may not give you the ultimate verdict, it can help you understand your chances of finding some good Trout activity.
Trout fish have certain preferences for becoming active in water and so they are always keeping anglers on their toes in trying to understand their movements in different water temperatures. Their penchant for cooler water temperature leads to less and timed activity in summer as they struggle with oxygen. We hope this article helps you understand the Trout behavior and the relation to water temperature better so you can plan your next fishing trip accordingly.