Abstract Characteristics of the natural spawning habitat of sea trout, Salmo trutta L., were studied in Själsöån, a small stream of Gotland, Sweden, from 1992 to 1999. Each year, trout spawned on 17 ± 7 different areas (156 places ha−1). Most of the spawning grounds were used every year. Overcutting was evident for at least 60% of the spawning grounds. Fish spawned on a gravel of 19 ± 7 mm in diameter. From 1978 to 1992, 242 artificial spawning grounds were constructed by the Gotland Sport Fishermen Association in four Gotland streams. A sediment trap was dug upstream to the spawning grounds. The artificial spawning ground comprised of a downstream V-shape stream deflector of large stones with a log weir at the narrowest point of the deflector. Upstream of the dam, 15–60 mm diameter gravel was deposited to constitute the spawning ground substratum. To keep the installation efficient, maintenance is needed every year before the spawning season.