Minnesota has two native trout species: the brook trout ("brookies") and the lake trout. These species belong to a group of trout know as char.
The other trout now in this state are brown trout and rainbow trout. Both were introduced to Minnesota in the late 1800s. The rainbow is native to western North America and the brown is native to Germany. Brown trout are the hardiest of the trout species and as a result can tolerate water warmer and less clear than rainbows and especially brook trout require.
Most trout streams are in southeastern Minnesota and along the North Shore. The southern streams have mainly browns with some rainbows and, in the cold clear headwaters, brook trout. The northern streams have mostly brook trout. Lake trout are found in Lake Superior and in many deep, cold, clean northern lakes.
A type of large rainbow trout that lives most of its life in Lake Superior and spawns in large North Shore rivers is called a steelhead. A cross between a lake trout and a brook trout, called a splake, is also found in some northern lakes.