Sea Trout and Salmon Compared

Sea trout and salmon come from the same family – Salmonidae. They are also known as salmonids, along with chars, freshwater whitefishes, and graylings. They are both anadromous, which means they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, and go back to fresh water to spawn. However, unlike salmon, sea trout survive spawning season and go back to the sea.

A lot of people confuse one for the other. So how do we distinguish sea trout from salmon?


There are some details in their appearance to look out for:

  1. Shape of the body: One way to distinguish one from the other is through the shape of their body. Salmon are streamlined and on the slender side; they also have a pointed head. Sea trout, on the other hand, have a thickset body and a round head.
  2. Mouth: Another thing to look out for is the mouth. Salmon have a smaller mouth – the eye and edge of the mouth are almost in line. In contrast, sea trout have a larger and longer mouth – it stretches beyond the line of the eyes.
  3. Spots and fork of tail: Salmon have few black spots, which are usually found above lateral line; they also have forked tail. On the other hand, sea trout have many black spots, found above and below lateral line; their tail is typically square or convex.

Flavour and Cooking

Both salmon and sea trout can be bought in various forms. Although, sea trout are usually available whole, while salmon steaks are very popular cuts.

Salmon has a more distinct flavour than sea trout, which has a milder flavour, so they pick up seasonings well.

So how do they compare in terms of cooking?

If there’s one thing that both salmon and sea trout have in common, it is that they are both oily types of fish. And, the oil content of a certain kind of fish is one of the things that needs to be considered when choosing cooking method you are going to use. Since both are oily, they are best cooked in ways that do not require extra oils or fats. So, baking, grilling, pan-frying, or steaming them are great ways to cook them.

Which is healthier?

Both are often listed as healthy fish choices. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be good for the heart.They are also great sources of protein.

There are some things of which one contains more than the other, though. For instance, salmon has more total fat but less cholesterol. Also, while salmon is rich in vitamin D, sea trout has high levels of the B vitamins. So, it really depends on your dietary needs and preferences. But then again, who says that you have to choose one over the other? You can have salmon today for your vitamin D needs and sea trout the next for your B vitamins. Everything considered, both salmon and sea trout are good additions to your diet. But then again, it’s good to know which is which.