It’s no secret that trout eat just about anything; their diet is wide-ranging and non-exclusive, and no one would ever accuse them of being picky eaters. Even so, Kristin Warner never expected what he found when we went fishing in Newcombe Brook, a river in Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, last month.
While cleaning his catch, he noticed something strange; inside the stomachs of two brook trout were three whole mice.
“None of the people I talked to never heard of a 15-inch brook trout eating a three-inch mouse,” Warner told CBC. “I was surprised to see them in there, I thought it was different.”
Though it’s rare to catch a trout with mice inside, zoologist Andrew Hebda says it isn’t surprising. Trout eat mostly insects, but also chow down on worms, crustaceans, frogs, small birds, and sometimes, even other trout.
“The basic element in the trout diet is if it will fit inside the mouth, they will eat it,” Hedba told CBC.
So how did these trout get a hold of the mice? It was suggested that they could have been chased into the water by predators or attempted to swim across the river before they were intercepted. Their burrows along the river bank could have also flooded, washing the mice into the water and making them easy prey for the circling trout.
According to Hebda, trout can digest every part of the mouse, making them a great addition to an already extensive diet.