We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have claimed, rightly or wrongly, that there are no wild-bred Brook Trout in the northeast US. To persuade me otherwise, I'd need to see a photo of some fingerlings in a stream.
There are two main issues:
The foremost is that most streams become too warm in summertime to support a Brook Trout population. That has always been true. (Yes, Brookies are the only species native to the Northeast US. They like cold water). Hatchery trout can survive in springtime, for a while, in non-trout streams.
Second issue is predators, and the worst is the introduced (from Europe) Brown Trout. That fish will eat any baby fish or fish eggs it can find. They prefer meat to bugs. I oppose any stream stocking with Brownies unless they are streams that would never support Brookies anyway. The ordinary fish predators like mink and otters can be put up with but always kept the Brookies at low numbers everywhere they could breed.
Given the popularity of fly-fishing, it's up to states to decide what their stocking programs should be. I get it. Fly-fishing is a beautiful experience and it is assumed that pretty much all stream- stocked fish will either be caught, fall to predation, or die from heat by June or July because they no longer have breeding populations to support hundreds of anglers. Stocking is required to accommodate all of the avid springtime anglers. Even the southern US states have been doing this.
There are still plenty of wild brook trout in freestone streams of north central PA. They're especially common in the upper reaches and tributaries where you'll find no other species of trout or fish. Young Woman's Creek, Slate Run, Cedar Run, Hyner Run (all three branches and especially Abe's Fork), Baker Run, Lick Run, Hensel Fork (Kettle Creek) etc. The main stem of these creeks have some wild browns too, but they haven't been taken over by browns like the limestone streams.
There are native book trout reproducing in streams all over the Northeast (admittedly often stunted). They do survive warm weather either by traveling up the feeders or by staying near spring sources of cool water.
Once a Brookie fan, always a Brookie fan. I fished for Brookies. as a kid in the UP of Michigan. The small spring fed creeks held lots of brookies--not big but who cares when y o u are a kid. And their color and markings in those cold waters were unforgettable. Those creeks were too small to support any DNR stocking program so they thrived. Last summer I revisited a few of those creeks and the brookies are still there 60 years later.
I wouldn't know how to catch fry, but the brook trout I've been catching in small streams are sometime as small as 3" and very rarely larger than 8". Dark with bright orange. Here's a good article about brook trout genetics in northern PA. https://phys.org/news/2018-09-hatchery-brook-trout-genes-pennsylvania.html
I live and fish in the central Adirondacks. There are hundreds of ponds and thousands of streams that have never been stocked yet continue to contain native brookies. Not as good brookie fishing as there once was, but quite acceptable.
In Glacier National Park you can fish and keep brookies (no license required). They consider them invasive and want them gone since they compete against native cut throats.
Evi L. Bloggerlady
I have just the thing for you.
My deceased father's hobby was building bamboo flyrods and while I have donated most of them to Project Healing Waters, I do have a few left, either single or multipiece. I think they would be ideal for brook trout fishing.
Since I have been reading Maggie's Farm for longer than I care to admit, I would like to send you you one in grateful appreciation.
Send me a mailing address and I will get one to you
I sometimes fish with a hand-me-down bamboo rod--Grandfather to Father-to me. Ill be passing it to my grandson. Other fisherman often notice and it leads to good conversation. There are some really good bamboo automakers out there right now and I have a few of those too. But the heirloom is special.