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Are there any wild Brookies (aka Speckled Trout) left in their homeland of eastern, mainly northeastern, North America? I mean by that is whether there are any wild-bred Brookies left.
I expect some arguments, but my guess is that, if there are any, they are very few and very local. Brookies are sensitive and delicate fish with exacting habitat requirements. They want cool or cold, well-oygenated water. If you want to fly fish for wild Brookies, Patagonia is the place to go. The transplants there have naturalized and done well.
Interesting facts about Brook Trout (beside the fast that they are actually Char, not trout) is that they do not normally inhabit "brooks." They are river (or lake) fish which only migrate to small brooks and streams in the fall to breed. And while adult Brookies will eat anything that moves or falls into the water, their preferred foods are minnows and crustaceans rather than bugs and flies.
In the northeast, adult wild Brookies lived in large, deep streams and smaller rivers like the upper Connecticut, the Housatonic, the upper Hudson, the Androscoggin, the Penobscot, the Saco, the Merrimack, the Delaware, etc. and in lakes like Champlain, Winnipesaukee, the Rangeley Lakes, the Finger Lakes, the Adirondack lakes, and even the eastern Great Lakes. Smaller, shallower waters get too warm for trout health. In fall, as the waters cooled and waters rose, they migrated up the drainages to breed - thus "Brook" Trout. (Natural History of the Brook Trout)
Overfishing, pollution, and dams pretty much destroyed the Brookie life cycle.
The result is that trout fishermen (meaning fly-fishermen) east of the Mississippi basically rely on stocked fish for recreation (as they do in most of the US). These are raised in hatcheries and typically released in early Spring into habitat in which they are likely to survive at least for a few months until the water temperatures warm and the health of the fish deteriorates. They may have better luck in larger waters but will have no homing instincts.
Even in the famous trout "streams" in Pennsylvania, you are catching hatchery fish, usually a mix of species including the Brown (originally from Europe) and Rainbow (native to the Western US). This spring, Pennsylvania stocked 3.5 million hatchery trout of mixed varieties to keep the anglers happy.
Fishing licenses pay for those fish. Adult hatchery trout can cost between $2-4 apiece depending on fish size and volume of the order, not including delivery.
There are still a few small spring fed creeks in Southern Ontario with wild brookies, or rather there used to be. I remember catching on 8 incher on a fly a few years ago. He was in full spawning colours and was so beautiful to look at that I didn't have the heart to make a meal of him, although he would have been delicious.
I admired him for a few minutes, held him upright in the water until he recovered and then with a splash he was gone.
Eastern Brooks have been planted in a few lakes in the Washington Cascades and have naturalized to the point where the state fishing regulations allow a high daily catch. In the Wallowa Wilderness in northeast Oregon, they were a nice food source for me on a backpack trip and really easy to catch.
Regarding Pa., there are a lot of small mountain streams that only have native brookies. In the great area called Pennsylvania Wild, literally hundreds of miles of streams. Many needing a hike to fish.....
Shenandoah National Park streams are exclusively wild Brookies; and the National Park Service goes to great lengths to insure that no other species is introduced. It also applies strict catch and release regulations based on size criteria.
The streams are small, and so are the fish. But, they are wild.
I have spent many days on various streams in the park, and have never seen anything else.
It seems to me that stream-bred, non-anadramous trout are intrinsically "very local."
Personally, I know lots of streams in Pennsylvania, New York, and New England where you can catch native-born brook trout. Admittedly, they are typically not large, but there are sometimes quite distinctive local populations.
Well, you are simply wrong BD. Or maybe you weasle out with the "almost none".
I suggest that you visit SNP sometime--preferably in the Spring when the flows are high. Folks who care about the native Brookies refrain from fishing them in the summer, when they need all of their resources to survive. But, then you have the small mouth bass.