The snowtrout or the common trout is a fish species native to Himalayan habitats in the countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan. The snow trout (Schizothorax richardsonii) is also popularly known as Asla among the locals. The snowtrout likes to live in the fresh water of inland streams and rivers, often from natural, melted snow water. Within the water, this fish likes to live among stones and rocks. It is also known for constantly swimming upstream against the current of the water, helping them to stay upright and with breathing. The snowtrout is a mostly silver-colored fish. Its reproductive process is dependent on being able to find a relatively warmer region. The snow trout species, despite the wide geographic distribution, is facing many major threats. The biggest is perhaps the introduction of what are considered exotic salmonids like brown trout. Other threats include over-fishing for food, habitat loss, and global climate change. Because of the declining numbers, the snowtrout has been put on the Red List by the IUCN as a Vulnerable species.
The snowtrout (Schizothorax richardsonii) is a fish.
The snowtrout (Schizothorax richardsonii) belongs to the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) class of animals.
The exact number of snowtrouts in the world is not known since they are spread over a wide range of natural habitats. Also, snowtrouts are undergoing a rapid decline in their numbers. No solid data has been gathered to pin down the exact numbers of snowtrout fish.
Snowtrout (Schizothorax richardsonii) fish are found in the inland waters of the Himalayan region, in the countries of India, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal.
The snowtrout fish species prefers to live in inland waters instead of the sea. In the river and stream habitat, snow trouts favor spaces between rocks and stones. Cold water is preferred over warm water. Temperature plays a rather important role in where these freshwater fish live. The tolerated temperature range is between 32-68 F (0-20 C). Between December and January, the cold streams of the Greater and Lesser Himalayan regions are preferred by snowtrout fish. Snowtrouts swim against the current of the fresh water to keep an upright position which makes breathing easier. A moderate flow of current suits them best.
Snowtrouts may be found alone, in small groups, or in pairs.
The lifespan and longevity of snowtrouts are not well known or studied.
The recorded breeding season for the snowtrout fish species is from June to October, peaking in September. There may be multiple spawnings in a given year depending on the temperature and low rates. The female eggs begin to mature around February to May and are ready for spawning in August to September. The sperms of the males mature in the months of March to April and become ready for spawning in July to October. However, spawning commences in the spring season despite the gonads being immature. Gonads are usually fully mature in winter, but lie dormant because of the low temperatures, which is why spring is chosen for the favorable conditions.
The spawning is induced by the increase in temperature in the months of May and June. The trout in the Sutlej River start migrating upstream. Lower temperatures around 46.4-49.1 F (8-9.5 C) are endured by the snowtrout during migration when there is an influx of water that is melted from snow. In search of better temperatures, the snowtrout migrate to the lowest possible areas during October-December. Large and sticky eggs are laid in pools that are 19.7-27.6 in (50-70 cm) deep. The eggs stick to the bottom until the fry hatch. Developed fry fish are given time during the initial phase of their life to learn to move upstream by timing the spawning to avoid floods.
The conservation status of the snowtrout fish species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is Vulnerable.
The snowtrout has a cone-shaped head and a slender, strong, and elongated body. The body is strong enough to withstand the strong current of rivers and hill streams. Tiny silver scales cover the body, while the abdomen is covered with light brown-colored scales. There are nuptial tubercles on the snout and these are well-developed and greater in number in the males. The dorsal side appears grayish black and the sides appear silver.
The overall body of a snowtrout can be said to be soft and smooth, covered in tiny scales that help with cutaneous breathing. The upper jaw is longer than the inferior mouth. The chin has a papillated hard structure called the adhesive organ. Four barbles and a suctorial disc are present on the chin that help with attaching to rocks and stones. The dorsal fin starts close to the tip of the snout. The dorsal spine is rather bony, serrated, and strong at the end. The dorsal fins also begin at the pelvic fins' anterior part. The pectoral fins tend to be shorter than the head and the pelvic fins do not go on till the vent. On both sides of the anal fin and the vent, a tiled scale row forms a sheath, with a lateral line.
Snowtrouts are kinda cute. They are small, shiny, and mostly silver. They are of a tenacious character, spending most of their lives swimming upstream. They are rather common-looking.
Snow trout communicate via pheromones and their lateral lines. The pheromones are to relay breeding information about themselves to members of the opposite sex and the lateral lines are for communicating with the surroundings.
Seeing that it is a trout species and is known to swim against the flow of water, the snowtrout can swim at speeds of 1.8-6.1 mph (2.9-9.8 kph).
A snowtrout may weigh 5.5-11 lb (2.5-5 kg).
Males and females of the snow trout species do not have specific names.
A baby snowtrout may be called a fry.
Snowtrouts are known for feeding on algae, detritus, aquatic plants, and insects.
No, snowtrout fish are not dangerous and are sought-after catch in fishing.
No, these freshwater fish do not make good pets. Snowtrouts are a Vulnerable species facing major threats like human over-fishing, tourism, habitat loss, climate change, and predation. This wild species needs to be conserved immediately.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
All the different species of trout fish have a collective longevity of 6-20 years.
Trout fish can grow an 1 in (2.54 cm) every month during summer and spring.
Trout fish, like the rainbow trout and steelhead, can grow to be up to 45 in (114.3 cm) long, which is bigger than the typical snowtrout size.
The rainbow trout species can live to be 4-11 years old. The rainbow trout species are found in the Pacific Ocean waters around Asia and North America.
Threats to the snowtrout fish species include brown trouts and other salmonids like chars and salmons. Salmon fish compete for food sources like insects.
A species called the Dinnawah snowtrout (Schizothorax progastus) is found in Nepal. The Schizothorax progastus is also found in India.
Despite being Vulnerable, the snowtrout is a sought-after catch in fishing by fishermen for food.
The snowtrout is also called the common snowtrout. It is also called Asala, Asela, or Asala by the locals.
There are numerous species of trouts in at least three different genera. The most common species include rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. The rainbow trout is perhaps the best-known example of the various trout species.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our brook trout surprising facts and lake trout fun facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable brown trout coloring pages.
* We've been unable to source an image of snowtrout and have used an image of rainbow trout instead as the main image. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of snowtrout, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].