Native or Not? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Native or Not?

08-31-2003, 03:20 PM
I have a question regarding the Midwest.
Has anyone been able to find an archive of native trout streams in this area?
I've looked high and low to no avail....any help is greatly appreciated.

Mike C
Heartland Outdoorsman

08-31-2003, 06:40 PM
Forty years ago when I lived in the midwest, there was no such thing as a trout stream at all, except maybe in the great lakes area. It wasn't until bottom release dams created tail water fisheries that any of those rivers ran cold enough all year long to support trout.


08-31-2003, 06:52 PM
Do you happen to know what the southern cut-off point is?
Or perhaps there is a site that can help me find the national range of the Trout?
Your help is appreciated.

Heartland Outdoorsman

08-31-2003, 07:16 PM
I assume you mean "Natural" range for trout? Today, even the White River in Arkansas, the Colorado River in Ca. /Arizona, and the Rio Grande in New Mexico supports trout.


09-01-2003, 07:07 PM
Are you refering to the Great Lakes trib's, or to inland streams in the midwest?
If you meant the trib's, then there are no native species other than Lake Trout & Brook Trout,(both actually char). The lakers spawn on reefs out in the lakes; the brookies on reefs & also in the streams.
If you refer to streams NOT tributary to the GL's, then the only native species would have been the brook trout. Rainbows & Browns are imports. They obviously survive & reproduce, but IMHO, they would have to be considered feral, not native.

09-01-2003, 07:23 PM
I was under the impression that brook trout were natives of the Maritimes, the Adoirondacs and Catskills the Great Lakes tribs and up into Canada. But certainly not the Ohio Valley. Although I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. :confused:


09-01-2003, 08:02 PM
Brookies range extended from Labrador through northern Georgia (Apalachin Mts.) to all of the great lakes, their tribs, and the surrounding area. (Look at God's Lake for trophies - and I think that's in Manitoba.)

In the great lakes, they are called "coasters", as they spend their time feeding in shallow in the lakes, and spawning in the tribs.


09-01-2003, 11:38 PM
I stand corrected. I can see them being able to survive in the Appalachians, but not in the Ohio Valley or what is generally considered the Midwest.


09-02-2003, 05:18 AM
Let's not forget about the Michigan Grayling.

09-02-2003, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by JDJones
snip..... but not in the Ohio Valley or what is generally considered the Midwest.


What do you consider the "Midwest"? Wisconsin, Minn., & Iowa,(yes,Iowa), have native populations of brookies. I'd guess that the Mo. spring creeks were brook trout waters before the rainbows were planted about 100 years ago.
That was probably the southern limit...???

sleepy weasel
09-02-2003, 12:26 PM
This book has information on the native ranges and some info on existing native populations and where they can be found.

BROOK TROUT by Nick Karas

I also have an ecyclopedia on trout that is titled TROUT but I don't know the author. It has histrical native ranges in it.

09-03-2003, 07:43 AM
Interesting discussion... and also let's not forget the giant landlocked atlantics indigenous to Lake Ontario.

John Desjardins
09-03-2003, 08:29 AM
I think Trout is by Dr. Robert Behenke. Trout unlimited may also have some good info on the topic.

09-03-2003, 10:56 AM
there is an interesting article on Coasters in the latest TROUT issue (the TU publication). There are some beautiful pictures of a this tremendous species. What a great thing if we restored that fishery - Steelhead size brookies!

The UP of Michigan is a good place to start for native brookie streams. Most of the LP (and midwest in general-from my limited knowledge) is all browns, rainbows, and re-introduced brookies.

09-03-2003, 12:20 PM
I agree - and virtually all of the GL states/provinces are working on it. To date, returns and survival has been dismal. Too many dams, too much warm water, and too many bad "exotic" species.

I think it's an impossible task today, but I'm glad they're working on it. Some good research is appearing, and HOPEFULLY some good news, especially for the Atlantic Salmon. Only time will tell - Rome wasn't built in a day, and trying to minimize the effects of the last 250-300 years is tough.

In the meantime, steelies and browns ain't bad, for a diversion!