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a brook trout from Milligan Creek, Michigan, held in someone's hands

For many people, brook trout fishing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is an unrivaled pastime. In some cases, anglers here have found their lucky “go to” waters where the fish are large and the catch is plentiful.

To support opportunities in the U.P., the DNR stocks these fish in several waterbodies. Hatchery-reared brook trout in Michigan come from the Marquette State Fish Hatchery. Depending on stocking needs, fish at different life stages can be pulled from the hatcheries. This variety has given fisheries managers the option to stock spring and fall fingerlings and yearlings with much success over many decades.

However, some locations where younger life stages of brook trout are stocked have had to withstand overwintering in harsh conditions at smaller sizes, making it difficult to build a fishery. When production was available and where possible, the DNR has stocked yearling brook trout to try and alleviate these survival concerns.

A view on Deer Lake in Luce County, Michigan

“Following a review of this practice – including available rearing space at Marquette State Fish Hatchery – it’s been determined we can now use yearling brook trout at all locations within the Eastern Lake Superior Management Unit,” said Cory Kovacs, a fisheries biologist out of Newberry. “Anywhere we previously stocked spring and fall fingerlings we will now replace those stockings with yearlings.”

This new practice will affect 13 waterbodies, including Brockies Pond, Deer Lake, Holland Lake, Moon Lake, Sid Lake, Silver Creek Pond, Syphon Lake, Ward Lake and Youngs Lake (Luce County); Addis Lake and West Johns Lake (Alger County), and Naomikong Lake and Naomikong Pond (Chippewa County).

Managers expect that stocking yearling brook trout in this area should only improve the already popular eastern U.P. brook trout fisheries.

For more information on where the DNR stocks fish, visit

Questions? Contact Cory Kovacs, 906-293-5131, ext. 4071.