Continuing our Michigan A-Z series is B for Brook Trout! The brook trout is native to Michigan’s waters and is the state fish of Michigan. They can be found primarily in northern Michigan in many creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, and in the Great Lakes, particularly in Lake Superior, referred to as “coasters.” The fish takes about 2 to 3 years to mature and they usually do not live longer than 6 years. Brook trout living in streams often reach sizes between 7-9 inches. Great Lake brook trout can attain larger sizes up to 25 inches and 10 pounds.
Brook trout have a long, streamlined body and the coloration varies from olive, blue-gray, or black above with a silvery white belly and wormlike spots along the back. They have red spots sometimes surrounded by bluish halos on their sides. The lower fins have a white front edge with black and the remainder being reddish orange.
Brook trout are sought after by fisherman, for food as well as for the sport, in fact I have even fished for brook trout but only for sport not for food (at least not for me, yuck!). They can be caught by using various bait and lures including worms, crickets, grasshoppers, wet and dry flies, spoons, and spinners, I don’t remember what kind of bait we used, but we did wear waders; really cheap waders that we wore old shoes on the outside of! I think we may have used small lures or worms while my dad tried fly fishing, though most of the time he was so preoccupied in getting Megan and I set-up, he didn’t have much time to fish himself. We fished in one of the branches of the Manistique River near Curtis, MI, which is in the upper peninsula, about an hour and a half from the bridge.