Trout Senses

Fish see, hear, smell and feel. However, none of their senses are quite like ours. Let’s find out more about what makes trout senses so fascinating.

Their Amazing Sense of Smell!
Trout have a well-developed sense of smell. Trout use special holes called “nares” to sniff out tiny bits of chemicals in the water. Since they don’t breathe air they can’t smell anything outside their watery habitat. 
 
Fish can use their sense of smell to find their way back home to where they were born. Migrating salmon coming back from the ocean can “follow their noses” back to their home streams, because they remember exactly what their home streams smell like.

Their Broad-Angle Vision
Trout can see very well when they look up – but when they look side to side, things get blurry. That explains why they’re so good at dodging predators like birds and bear that come from above and why they’re so interested in bait that looks a lot like tasty flies and minnows.

About the Lateral Line
Trout have inner ears, which allow them to hear sounds as we do. They also have lateral lines, special sense organs used to “feel” sounds. Lateral lines allow trout to hear sounds that are too low for humans to hear. Every trout has two lateral lines, one on each side of its body. A lateral line is made of a series of U-shaped tubes. Every time the water outside the U vibrates because of a sound, a tiny hair at the base of the U wiggles, which sends a nerve signal to the brain. The trout’s brain translates the wiggle into information about where the vibration came from. Trout use lateral lines to find food, escape predators and keep away from obstacles.