• proximate composition;
  • lipids;
  • protein;
  • energy reserves;
  • winter energetics

Abstract – Seasonal changes in protein and fat were investigated in brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) of a stunted population from a small, temperate zone lake. The lake was ice-covered during winter (about 200 days), and hypolimnic water temperature during winter was about 4°C. During winter there was an increase in specific fat, in particular among the larger sized fish, while there was a general decrease in specific protein content among both small (<5 winters) and large (age 5 or older) trout. During winter (end of October to mid-May) an average trout gained 32 kJ of fat, but protein energy content decreased by 14 kJ, yielding a net energy increase of 18 kJ or a daily energy gain of 0.09 kJ  ·  day−1. During the ice-free season (mid-May to the end of October) the trout increased mainly in protein content with daily energy gains of about 1.4 kJ  ·  day−1, a value about 14 times higher than the corresponding winter value. Trout living in lakes may store considerable amounts of fat during wintertime in contrast to the depletion of fat reserves found among stream-living trout in the same area, which face lower water temperatures in the winter period.Note